Houston Astros (78-50 SU, 67-61 RL, 64-56-8 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Angels (65-64 SU, 62-67 RL, 51-69-9 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 3:37 p.m. EST
The Line: Houston -123/LA Angels +113. Total: 9.5
The Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros will conclude a three-game series when they square off at Angel Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles lost the opener 2-1 on Friday and has now dropped three in a row. The Astros’ victory came on the heels of a 1-3 stretch.
Altuve ailing just a bit
Astros’ all-star Jose Altuve could miss the latter part of this series, as well, after sitting out Friday’s contest due to a neck injury. Manager A.J. Hinch has referred to Altuve’s status as day-to-day. The second baseman was hurt while swinging the bat on Thursday, but both the American League batting leader and Hinch feel he could return during this three-game set with Los Angeles.
“He’s fine; he’s still having a little bit of symptoms with his neck,” Hinch explained. “He’s not going to play until we feel like he is not going to irritate it anymore. Given the travel we had, I didn’t really expect him to play (Friday) coming into the ballpark. So it’s no surprise to me it’s day-to-day.”
The Astros posted a 2-1 victory in the opener as Alex Bregman recorded his second straight three-hit performance, improving to 14-for-29 during his seven-game hitting streak.
The Angels have lost four of their last five games and sit 1.5 games behind Minnesota for the AL’s second wild-card spot. They will turn to veteran Ricky Nolasco on Sunday in hopes of gaining ground for a place in the playoffs. Nolasco is 6-12 with a 5.05 ERA through 26 starts in 2017. The veteran right-hander has not turned in a quality start since he delivered two in succession during late July and early August. He most recently faced Texas on Tuesday, when he allowed one run on five hits and three walks but lasted only 4.2 innings as his pitch count ballooned over 100.
Astros’ right-hander Charlie Morton will oppose Nolasco on Sunday. Morton is a solid 10-6 with a 3.81 ERA this season. Impressively, he has pitched at least five innings in all 19 of his starts. Morton, who missed the month of June, posted monthly ERAs under 4.00 in May and July and he is doing the same so far in August (3.96).
The Houston Astros are:
- 31-15 in their last 46 games against the American League West
- 7-2 in their last nine road games against teams with winning records
- 20-8 in their last 28 road games against teams with winning home records
The Los Angeles Angels are:
- 2-5 in their last seven home games against teams with road winning percentages over .600
- 9-20 in their last 29 games against Houston
- 3-9 in their last 12 home games against Houston
Houston recently activated catcher/designated Evan Gattis from the seven-day concussion list and placed catcher Max Stassi (hand) on the 10-day disabled list. Angels’ center fielder Mike Trout is hitless in eight at-bats over his last three games and 3-for-22 over the last six contests. The Astros are 31-15 in their last 46 against the American League West, 7-2 in their last nine on the road against winning opponents, and 20-8 in their last 28 on the road against opponents with winning home records. Los Angeles is 2-5 in its last seven at home against opponents with road winning percentages over .600, 9-20 in the last 29 meetings between the two teams, and 3-9 in its last 12 at home against Houston. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.