Astros vs. Angels MLB Pick For September 14th

by Kevin Roberts
on September 14, 2017

We picked up a solid win yesterday, as the Dodgers met their -1.5 Run Line with a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Just like that, L.A. has two straight wins in the bag and a nasty 11-game skid in the rearview mirror.

There are a handful of MLB matchups to consider targeting today, but as we move along one really has our eye. That’s none other than a tense AL West clash between the first place Houston Astros and the wild card hopeful Los Angeles Angels.

L.A. has stayed the course lately, going 5-5 over their last 10 contests and remaining in the thick of the wild card chase. The Halos stole a win last night to kickstart this series, largely thanks to a poor showing by last second starter, Mike Fiers. An easy 9-1 win has the Angels feeling good as they head into game two.

That confidence could be short-lived, of course. Brad Peacock (10-2, 3.05 ERA) takes the mound for the Astros, who have proven to be quite the tough out (46-27) on the road and are favored by BetOnline and most of the top MLB betting sites.

Understandably so, too. Ricky Nolasco (6-13, 5.19 ERA) toes the rubber on the other side and isn’t a formidable arm in the least. In fact, we’re looking for reasons not to take the Astros at this point. Let’s take a closer look and see if Vegas is spot on with the top value play of the slate, or if the Halos could be worth backing as a sneaky underdog pick:

Houston Astros (-134)
Los Angeles Angels (+124)
Total: 9

First off, this line is awesome. We don’t get a ton of value with the Angels as an upset pick, so it’s going to take a lot to get us there. They’re at home and have a better offense than they did earlier in the year after adding Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips, but they’re the underdogs for a reason.

Houston’s value is more alluring, whether we just want the safety of a straight up bet at -134 or decide to aim higher with their -1.5 Run Line (+115). Regardless, BetOnline looks like the top baseball betting site to target for this bet, while Bovada is slightly below them (-136, +110).

This is a pretty playable Total, too. Last night’s game was extremely one-sided and topped this mark and if the Astros can show up like we all expect them to, then we can get 10 runs here. That’s not the bet we’re in love with at -110, but it’s certainly an angle to consider.

Ideally, the real play involves the Astros at some level and it’s easy to see why. Peacock enters tonight’s showdown in great form, having allowed 2 or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. He’s dazzled with 8+ strikeouts in three of those four outings, as well.

We did see Peacock struggle against the Angels earlier this year, but he rebounded nicely the last time he faced them, striking out 8 and giving up just one run. That’s usually what we’re looking for out of Peacock, who is great at inducing soft contact and knows how to make batters miss. His real problems arise when he struggles with his command, while the Halso specifically aren’t a high strikeout lineup.

Overall, though, this matchup works to Peacock’s advantage. He’s pitching in a conservative ballpark and he’s actually been a lot cleaner (6-0, 2.95 ERA) out on the road in 2017. Peacock doesn’t have a ton to worry about here, either.

Mike Trout and Justin Upton are two mashers he’ll have to work his way around, but this is otherwise a pretty pedestrian offense. The Halos rank just 16th in home runs against righties and 20th in batting average, after all.

If you don’t buy Peacock on the road in this matchup, I can still sell the Astros pretty easily. Obviously, Houston has a stacked offense. They haven’t been quite as staggering in terms of production as they were earlier in the year, but everybody knows how explosive they can be when they’re clicking.

Angel Stadium could easily keep them under wraps, but it’s tough to bank on that with the volatile Nolasco hitting the dirt. Nolasco has spun a few gems in 2017, but for the most part, we know what we’re getting with the 34-year old right. The answer is a ton of hard contact and a discouraging 4.98 ERA inside this park.

Nolasco held serve well enough the last time he battled Houston (4 earned runs in 6 innings), but he still gave up a lot of hits and obviously didn’t shut them down. Nolasco has that ability, but it comes sporadically and his recent form (3+ runs allowed in 3 straight starts) doesn’t promote a ton of confidence.

Can the Astros face plant here? Sure, but that’s not the logical take. Instead, we shouldn’t trust Nolasco and we should back the red hot Peacock. If Houston’s offense can then just show up a little bit, they should get the win and be able to do enough to get us that 2-run edge.

I love the Astros straight up tonight and we get solid value at -134. We can aim higher with the -1.5 Run Line at +115, but with a divisional battle on the road, I’ll hang tight for the win.

Pick: Houston Astros to Win (-134)
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