Odds presented by: DraftKings Sportsbook
|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|Los Angeles Angels||+1.5 (-120)
|O 7.5 (-115)
|Houston Astros||-1.5 (EVEN)
|U 7.5 (-105)
It never quite pays to bet behind Shohei Ohtani. Because he’s such an international superstar, more people bet on him, which makes the value not as good as it technically should be. Given the fact that the Astros have more depth and are at home too, it makes this pick a little easier than you might think. We like Houston to cover the spread.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (53-46-2)
There has been no shortage of storylines in this 2021 MLB season. From close wild card races, and home run chases to new superstars and breakout seasons, there’s been a ton to like about this season.
Likely none of it holds a candle to the story that Shohei Ohtani has been the past five months. If he were just a hitter, he’d be top five on the planet. If he were just a pitcher, he’d likely be top 10 on the planet.
The scary thing for everyone who isn’t the Los Angeles Angels — he does both.
Ohtani leads baseball with 43 home runs, is fifth in OPS (.964), and tied for ninth in RBIs (93) and his bat will be on full display as he’s expected to hit leadoff against the Astros on Friday.
But he’s also pitching and he’s been every bit as good on the mound as he has in the batter’s box. Ohtani is 9-1 this season with a 2.97 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and 135 strikeouts in 112 innings pitched.
He faced the Astros once this year back in May and was dominant in a no-decision, going seven innings, giving up just one earned run on four hits and one walk while striking out 10.
He’s countered by Framber Valdez who in his own right has been a fantastic pitcher this season. Valdez is 9-5 this year with a 3.08 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 111 innings. He looks to bounce back after a rough outing when he gave up four runs in six innings in a 10-2 loss to the Padres.
Everybody wants to be playing their best baseball entering the postseason (assuming you get to play into October) but as of right now, Houston isn’t exactly doing that as the Astros find themselves just 11-12 in their past 23 games — one of the worst stretches all season.
Part of it can be chalked up to the opponent — their last nine games have come against the Mariners and Padres who are both playing desperate baseball to try and squeeze their way into the Wild Card round.
But still, in four of the last eight games and five of the last 10, Houston has scored two runs or fewer and lost the game, a worrisome dip for what has largely been the best offense in baseball this season.
What might be scariest for opponents is Alex Bregman is finally back from injury and hasn’t missed a beat since returning. Bregman has reached base in all 12 games, with hits in nine straight and has hit a red-hot .372 (16-of-43) with two home runs and seven RBIs in the past two weeks.
That added depth to the lineup should help as the weather begins to turn.
For Houston, we’re going to go with Kyle Tucker — not one of the big names in this loaded roster, but an effective ballplayer on both sides.
Tucker has actually been one of Houston’s best batters in the second half of the season — hit .333 (45-of-135) in 38 games since the All-Star break and ranks second on the team in home runs (nine) and RBIs (30) during that time.
For Los Angeles, we’re looking at Jose Iglesias who does some of his best work against lefties. The sensational defensive shortstop is hitting .283 against lefties this year with a .762 OPS — both above his season and career averages.
|Los Angeles Angels vs Houston Astro Information|
|Teams||Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros|
|Location||Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas|
|Time||Friday, Sept. 10, 8:10 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Fox Sports West, MLB.TV|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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