Houston (76-64) at LA Angels (70-69)
When: Friday, September 11th, 2015
Where: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
Time: 10:05 ET
TV: DirecTV 674, 692 Radio: XM 177
The first place Houston Astros travel to Anaheim tonight to start a big 3-game series with the Angels. Houston will try and put Anaheim out of their misery, so they can focus on the Texas Rangers. Houston holds a 2.5 game lead of Texas and 5.5 over Anaheim. The Astros just lost 2 of 3 in Oakland despite scoring 20 runs in the series. Their bullpen has been beat up bad lately and they’ll need to get that turned around before too long. The pen might not be needed tonight as Dallas Keuchel starts. Keuchel is having a Cy Young type season with his 17-6 record and 2.29 ERA. He has won 4 straight decisions and has only allowed 7 earned runs in his last 5 starts, all Houston wins. In fact, the Astros are 20-8 this year when Keuchel starts. He is a little vulnerable on the road, however. He has a 3.35 ERA and the Astros are only 6-6 in his 12 road starts.
Anaheim comes into this series knowing they need to sweep it if they want to win the division. They are only 3 games out of the final Wild Card spot, so they need to win at least 2 of 3. A win tonight would be huge. The Angels had won 4 of 5 until this week when the Dodgers got them 2 out of 3. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are just not enough offense for this team who rank 29th in batting average and 22nd in runs scored. They need more hitting if they want to compete. They also don’t run the bases much as they only have 42 stolen bases all year. Jered Weaver starts tonight and he’s had one of his worst seasons. He’s 6-10 with a 4.78 ERA and his strikeout rate is way down. He had a good outing last time out against Texas, but before that Cleveland and Detroit hit him for 14 runs in two starts. His only complete game this year came against these Astros back in May and it was a 2-0 shutout.
This is a pretty heavy road favorite tonight, but the Angels hit only .226 against lefties and .205 in their last 10. Keuchel is on a roll right now and I think he’s worth it tonight.
Pick: Astros -136