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My Pick: Astros +132
Shohei Ohtani has been one of (if not the) most dominant hitter in the league. However, he has had some issues on the mound. His numbers are good but not great, and he has a 4.85 ERA in two starts against Houston this season. We see this improving Houston offense doing some damage, while a Trout-less Angels lineup has another quiet night against JP France.
While they dropped a tough series to Seattle before the break, the Astros had been greatly improved over the last month. Their offense has begun to click with Yordan Alvarez out, and it led to them taking a key four-game series from the division-leading Rangers. They now sit just two games back from Texas and will have a real chance to take back a division they have dominated. They’ll have a great opportunity to continue that run against a streaky Angels team, and they will capitalize on that tonight.
JP France (4-3, 3.26 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston tonight. The 28-year-old rookie was called into action earlier this season after a slew of injuries hit the Astros' pitching staff. France has been getting better as the season goes on, posting a 2.43 ERA across five June starts. The righty dominated LA last month, allowing one run on three hits over seven innings. Expect to see another good performance from the rookie, leading the Astros to a key road win.
Kyle Tucker has been a big reason for the Astros' recent success. He has stepped up in Alvarezs’ absence to lead this offense. He brings power and speed, and he has a .333 batting average in June. He won’t be alone tonight, as we see Alex Bregman and Jose Abreu also having big nights. Bregman has been incredibly streaky, but he owns a .391 average against the Halos this season and a .370 average against Ohtani over 27 at-bats. Abreu is having the worst season of his career but is 4-10 with two walks against Ohtani. His talent is still there, and we think a matchup with Ohtani could be just what he needs to turn things around in the second half of the season.
The Angels entered the All-Star break losing nine of their last ten games. They had a -35 run differential during that run, which is a sign that the loss of Mike Trout could have devastating consequences for this team. On top of that, their pitching staff has been far from reliable. Ohtani has been good, but the rest of the rotation all own ERA’s over 4.30. While the Angels did make an impressive run in June, they are now fourth in the division and a full seven games back from the Rangers.
The Angels will have their ace on the bump tonight in Shohei Ohtani (7-4, 3.32 ERA). Ohtani was fantastic in April, but he came back down to earth in May by posting a 4.06 ERA. He was a bit better in June but was hit hard in his lone July start. Ohtani gave up five earned runs on seven hits and four walks against the Rockies at home on July 4. The walks have been a theme this season. It also saw a resurgence of his struggles to keep the ball in the park, allowing two home runs. Ohtani owns a 4.85 ERA over two starts against the Astros, and that number will go up again after tonight.
Ohtani is arguably the best hitter in baseball. His average is on the rise, and his power numbers are among the best in the league. The problem is that the rest of this lineup has offered little support. Now the Angels are without Mike Trout for at least a month, which is a big problem for this team. Brandon Drury and Hunter Renfroe can provide some power (32 combined home runs), but consistency is a big issue. They don’t have depth, and the talent of their starting lineup lags behind the Astros. That is going to be a problem against France tonight, and it will cost the Halos the win.
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Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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