(927) Houston vs. LA Angels (928)
PICK: pinnacle @ LAA (-114)
DATE: September 13, 2017 - 10:07 PM
STAR RATING: 10.0
EXPERT: Power Sports
EVALUATION: Win (1000)
10* LA Angels (10:05 ET): Please note that this play stands despite Houston changing pitchers, from Lance McCullers Jr to Michael Fiers. However, because of the change, it is likely we will no longer be able to grab the Angels at +1.5 (they are now ML favorites), so the play is now on them to win straight up. Last night, I cashed the Halos on the run line in a 1-0 loss. The Astros scored the game's lone run in the 2nd inning and then Justin Verlander took it from there, allowing just one hit over eight innings. While not a killer, the loss certainly hurt the Angels as they're now two games back of the Twins (who won 16-0 yday!) for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The Twins losing tonight to San Diego seems unlikely, so the home team really does need a win in the worst way here. I'll bank on that happening.
This series marks a return home for the Angels, who were coming off a nine-game road trip, all against division opponents. They went just 4-5 w/ six of the nine contests decided either by one run or in extra innings. Last night marked another one-run loss as the team has now played 45 one-run games this year, second most in the A.L. Tonight, they turn to Tyler Skaggs to right the ship. I gave Skaggs a significant edge over McCullers and it's interesting to note that the oddsmakers preferred McCullers to Fiers. That probably has something to do w/ the fact Fiers has allowed a total of 14 ER his L2 starts, ugly outings that both took place at home. Last time out, the offense bailed Fiers out in an 8-6 win over the sorry Mets, thereby preventing what would have been an embarrassing loss as -255 money line favorites. Though they won yday, the Astros are by no means "out of the woods" yet. This has been a sub-.500 team since the All-Star Break and they were swept by last place Oakland over the weekend.
Skaggs had endured his own rough patch before tossing a quality start his last time out. The Angels may have still lost (3-1 at Oakland), but it was nice to see the pitcher go six innings and allow just three runs w/ 9 K's (tied season-high). Skaggs did start in an Angels win over the Astros here at home back in August. Among division foes, Skaggs' ERA against Houston in the lowest. Meanwhile, Fiers' career ERA vs. LA is just 4.44 in seven starts. Houston has a losing record against left-handed starters this year and has manged only four runs in the last three games (.211 batting average L7 games). 10* LA Angels