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The second and third-place teams in the AL West will face off on Thursday, as the Houston Astros host the Los Angeles Angels. Both teams trail the Texas Rangers in the division standings, but a win here will help pull the winner of this contest closer to Texas, who is off on Thursday. The Astros have the pitching edge going into this game, and they will need it against the stars of the Los Angeles lineup. See our favorite MLB betting sites to get the best betting experience and baseball promos.
The Los Angeles Angels come into Thursday’s MLB slate having won two of their last three games, winning a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. They closed that series out with a 12-5 win in their last outing. Now, the Angels will aim to build upon that successful series against the defending World Series champions on the road on Thursday night.
For the Angels to have a shot in this game, they are going to need a quality start out of Reid Detmers. Detmers has not been consistent in providing such starts this season, as he is 0-4 with a 4.93 ERA on the season. Matched up with Framber Valdez on the mound to start this game, Detmers will not be able to afford another poor start, as that would likely take the Angels out of this game early.
Of course, the Angels will try to keep up with the Astros with their offense, which has actually produced more runs than Houston on the year. Shohei Ohtani is not on the mound for this game, but he will be at the plate, which will be enough of a threat. Ohtani has 15 home runs already this season, and the Angels will need him to make an impact against Valdez in order to keep the Angels in this matchup.
The Houston Astros come into Thursday with a record of 32-23, putting them in second place in the AL West. They are three games back of the Texas Rangers in the division, but they can move to within 2.5 games of the division lead in this contest. Here, they send their ace to the mound in hopes of shutting down an Angels lineup that has emerged as one of the more potent in the sport this season.
Framber Valdez is 5-4 with a 2.38 ERA on the season so far, and has won each of his last three decisions. The Astros as a whole have won each of the last four games he has started, winning each of those games by two or more runs. Valdez also pitched well against the Angels the only time he has faced them this season, giving up just one run in eight innings in an Astros victory in May.
Houston comes into this contest having lost two out of three to the Minnesota Twins, who have emerged as the class of the AL Central. There is no shame in losing a series to a division leader, but that result does put a little more pressure on the Astros going into this matchup. After all, another loss in this contest would mean three losses in four games, and a blown opportunity to help their cause in the AL West chase.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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