Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#919 Houston Astros vs.
#920 Los Angeles Angels
Monday, September 20, 2021 at 9:38pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Houston Astros will travel to Angel Stadium on Monday evening for the opening game of an American League West showdown against the Los Angeles Angels.

Los Angeles enters play on Sunday in fourth place in the AL West standings with a 72-76 overall record. Meanwhile, Houston is cruising towards October after extending its advantage to six games in the AL West race. The Astros come in with an 87-61 overall record, including a 43-31 record against teams with winning records.

Can the Halos open the series with a win at home against the Astros on Monday night?

Baker non-committal about starting Valdez on Monday

Left-hander Framber Valdez is scheduled to get the call for the opening game of Houston’s AL West clash against the Angels on Monday. However, manager Dusty Baker would not commit to the 27-year-old being able to take the ball for Monday’s start, according to Daniell Lemer of the Houston Chronicle. The Astros’ left-hander is currently dealing with a cut on his finger and was scratched from his previously scheduled start on Thursday. Baker said Valdez sustained the cut after putting his hand on the outfield wall during batting practice versus the Texas Rangers. He comes in with a 10-5 overall record to go along with a 3.26 ERA in 19 starts this season.

The break could be a blessing in disguise for Valdez, who had been struggling over his previous two appearances. After allowing four runs in a loss versus the San Diego Padres, the Astros’ lefty gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings of work against the Angels in his last start but was fortunate enough to escape with the win.

Valdez has made 10 career appearances (six starts) against the Angels, going 5-3 with a 4.56 ERA in those contests.

Barria hoping for better results in second straight start vs. Houston

Los Angeles is expected to counter with right-hander Jaime Barria for his 10th start of the season on Monday. The Angels’ right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.93 ERA in 11 games (nine starts), but he’s flashed signs of life over his last four appearances, allowing three earned runs or fewer in four straight starts. In his last trip to the mound, Barria surrendered one run in four innings of work against the Astros before leaving with a no-decision on the night.

The Angels will be looking for the 25-year-old to pitch deeper into games over the final two weeks of the season. Barria has completed five innings or more in just one time in his previous six appearances. He needed a season-high 96 pitches to get through four innings in his last start against the Astros, pitching around four walks on the night.

In 11 career appearances (10 starts) against Houston, Barria is 1-4 with a lifetime-4.47 ERA.

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Houston might own a six-game lead in the AL West race but that number isn’t insurmountable given the fact that they will play 6 of their final 13 games against Oakland, the second-place team in the division. The Astros will also host the Tampa Bay Rays in the penultimate series of the regular season. That means the Astros will have to take care of business to start this week. No matter who toes the rubber for Houston, expect the Astros to come out with a bang on Monday. Take Houston to cover the run line against the Angels on Monday evening.

 

Prediction: Houston Astros -1.5

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These two played a low-scoring series in August but I’m not sure we’re going to get more of the same here. Houston comes into this series heating up on offense. The Astros have scored seven runs per game over their last six contests and Barria has had a hard time against them in his career. Meanwhile, the Halos are due for some regression at the plate after scoring four runs or fewer in six of their previous seven contests. Take this game to go over the projected total on Monday evening.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He has been a very successful sports bettor over the years and has now brought his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.

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