Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (76-78 SU, 75-79 RL, 64-80-10 O/U) vs. Houston Astros (95-59 SU, 81-73 RL, 75-70-9 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, September 24, 2017, Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas, 8:05 pm ET
Lines: Houston -150, Anaheim +140; Over/Under: 9
It’s the conclusion of a series between AL West foes hoping to make some postseason noise down in the Lone Star State. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play the final game of their three game set on the road against the Houston Astros Sunday night. Houston won the opening two games of the series, taking a 3-0 victory Friday night and following up with a 6-2 win in the middle game of the set Saturday afternoon. Will the Astros sweep the set or can the Angels salvage the finale, not to mention their fading playoff hopes?
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Fading Late
Anaheim dropped their sixth straight game as they’ve tanked their own playoff hopes. The Angels dropped four games back with eight to play: that number could go back to 3.5 or up to 4.5 depending on what the Twins do later Saturday. Justin Upton (two runs, two RBI) was the lone player for Anaheim with two hits as the team totaled five in the game. He accounted for both Angels’ runs with solo homers in the seventh and ninth innings, giving him 34 long balls on the year. Bud Norris (2-6) took the loss in his spot start as he allowed one run on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts over 3.1 innings.
Tyler Skaggs is on the hill for his 15th start of the year for the Angels in this contest. He is 2-6 with a 4.30 ERA, a 1.367 WHIP with 25 walks against 66 strikeouts in 75.1 innings of work. He missed more than three months earlier this season as he suffered from a Grade 2 oblique strain. Skaggs took the loss in his last start, which came at home against the Indians Tuesday night. He threw 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout in an eventual 6-3 Angels loss. He is 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP plus three walks and 15 strikeouts over 18.1 innings in his last three starts. Skaggs makes his seventh career start against the Astros in this contest. He is 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.129 WHIP over 33.2 innings of work. Skaggs is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.154 WHIP over 13 innings in his two career starts at Minute Maid Park.
Houston Astros Looking to Track Down Indians
Houston won their second straight and eighth in their last 10 games as they took down the Angels Saturday. That moved the Astros within a game of the Indians for the AL’s top record, depending on what the Indians did later Saturday. Marwin Gonzalez (two runs) and Carlos Correa (run, three RBI) each had three hits for Houston in the win. Evan Gattis drove in the other three Houston runs with a three-run homer, his 12th of the season. Charlie Morton (13-7) picked up the win after going seven strong innings: he allowed one run on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Lance McCullers Jr. makes his 21st start of the season for the Astros in this contest but just his second in nearly two months. He comes in 7-3 with a 3.97 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, 37 walks and 122 strikeouts over 111 innings of work. He’s missed time with back discomfort and is questionable here after dealing with arm fatigue. McCullers Jr. recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came on the road against the Mariners back on September 6. He allowed three runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Houston went on to a 5-3 victory in the contest. McCullers Jr. is 0-1 with an 8.40 ERA, a 1.87 WHIP, seven walks and 11 strikeouts over 15 innings in his last three starts. He is 3-1 with a 1.55 ERA and a 0.994 WHIP over 52.1 innings in his eight career starts against the Angels. McCullers Jr. is 13-4 with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.165 WHIP over 170 innings in 28 career starts at Minute Maid Park.
- Angels are 0-6 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record
- Angels are 0-6 in their last 6 overall
- Angels are 0-6 in their last 6 games on grass
- Astros are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. American League West
- Astros are 10-1 in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Astros are 10-1 in their last 11 home games
The Angels were unfortunate with the schedule makers as the Indians and Astros, the top two teams in the American League, made up the majority of their final two weeks of the schedule. Pitching and inconsistent offense has doomed Anaheim all season as injuries continue to plague the franchise. Even adding veterans like Upton and Brandon Phillips haven’t stemmed the slide, mainly due to the fact that neither man is a pitcher. McCullers Jr. may or may not go here but the Astros have enough pitching depth to get the win nonetheless.