The Houston Astros and visiting Los Angeles Angels battle on Monday in Game 1 of the three-game series between American League West rivals.
The Astros and Angels come off wins on Sunday, so they’re heading in the right direction in chasing Oakland at the top of the division.
Houston named Luis Garcia as the starting pitcher. He is likely the best pitcher yet to record a win, but the Astros will be confident with Garcia on the mound.
The online sportsbook has Houston favored, so 19th win could be in the offing for the Astros.
Garcia Eager for First Win
The 24-year-old has been made to wait for his first major league win. Luis Garcia is 0-3 after starting four games and allowing just 16 hits from 24.2 innings.
Garcia has yet to pitch more than 5.2 innings in any start, but he hasn’t allowed more than three hits. He struck out eight batters in only 4.2 innings against the New York Yankees last week, which was a tidy effort.
With an ERA of 3.28 and a WHIP of 1.01, Garcia is making a case to be the best pitcher yet to pick up a win.
He has yet to receive much run support, which is something he would dearly love. The Astros have scored just nine runs in the six games he has appeared, so it doesn’t make for good reading.
The Astros should be able to start generating offense against the Angels, who have allowed big totals. The Los Angeles Dodgers scored 14 runs and the Tampa Bay Rays had no problem scoring eight runs in two of their three games vs the Angels.
Alex Cobb was meant to start for the Angels, but he has been placed on the injured list after blister problems. Junior Guerra will make the start instead.
Pujols Let Go
The Angels made headlines last weekend when by releasing Albert Pujols. The 41-year-old was never going to be a contributing factor for the Angels, but it was sad to see him go in such a fashion.
Angels management released a statement, which was reported by Yahoo! Sports.
“The Angels Organization proudly signed Albert Pujols in 2011, and are honored that he has worn an Angels jersey for nearly half of his Hall-of-Fame Career. Albert’s historical accomplishments, both on and off the field, serve as an inspiration to athletes everywhere, and his actions define what it means to be a true Superstar. Since his Rookie of the Year Season in 2001, Albert and his wife Deidre have generously given their time and resources to countless charities throughout the world. We are thankful to the entire Pujols Family.”
Still my favorite home run of all time. Albert Pujols is a legend forever. pic.twitter.com/PrXCd55kTP
Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) May 6, 2021
Los Angeles will move on without Pujols, but the signing of Drew Butera didn’t please fans. The experienced catcher is hardly a prized signing, but we’re not worried for the Angels.
Having Shohei Ohtani as a regular batter has worked wonders. He is second in RBIs for the Angels with 26, behind only Jared Walsh. He leads the team in home runs with 10 and, along with Mike Trout, they could make an impact.
Los Angeles is 15-18 following a 2-1 win over the Dodgers. It was an important series to win and it could send the Angels in the right direction.
Astros Lead 4-2
The teams will play 19 times throughout the course of the regular season and the Houston Astros currently have a 4-2 record.
Los Angeles took the first game 7-6 before the Astros hit back with four consecutive wins. Three of those came at Minute Maid Park, including a 16-2 rout last month.
Expectations are higher for the Astros and the 18-16 reflects as much. They are expecting to make the playoffs and beating the Angels consistently would take them a long way.
Houston has four starting pitchers on the IL, including Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and Jake Odorizzi. Therefore, pitchers like Garcia need to step up and the Astros’ bats need to hit for him.
Angels vs Astros Betting Trends
The Astros absolutely dominate the Angels. They are 40-19 in the last 59 meetings in Houston and 35-17 in the last 52 meetings overall.
It’s rare to see such a big disparity, especially for divisional rivals. It gets even better for Houston, which is 6-2 in its last eight vs AL West teams and 62-25 in its last 90 during Game 1 of the series.
The Astros are 109-52 in their last 161 home games and 59-22 in their last 81 home games against a team with a losing record.
Statistics don’t get better for the Angels, who are 2-6 in their last eight overall and 29-65 in their last 94 road games vs a team with a winning record.
Over is 19-7 in the last 26 meetings, so we’re expecting the offense to find another gear.
Angels vs Astros Game Pick
We are all over the Houston Astros in a game that looks perfectly set up for them to win.
Not only does Los Angeles have a fill-in pitcher in Guerra (2-1, 4.95 ERA), but it struggles to beat Houston on the road.
Houston will be keen to avenge the 4-2 loss to Los Angeles last time out, so expect a much better showing and Garcia to get his first win.
MLB lines unsurprisingly have Houston as firm favorites and we think they could put up a double-digit score line on their rivals.