I have to think the Los Angeles Angels are starting to regret holding onto Shohei Ohtani because after dropping the first two games of this series to the Houston Astros they are 6.5 games back of a Wild Card spot and under .500 at 58-60. The Astros are 2.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West standings at 68-50.
The struggling Angels will go with Chase Silseth on the mound tonight to make just his fifth start and 13th appearance. Silseth is 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA. Coming off back-to-back 11-3 wins, the Astros will counter with Jose Urquidy. Urquidy is 2-2 in seven starts with a 6.10 ERA.
The Astros are favored at home in the finale as they go for the sweep of the fourth place Angels.
Angels vs. Astros odds, run line and total
Angels vs. Astros prediction and pick
Maybe the Angels should have stretched Silseth into a starter sooner. While he hasn’t been completely lights out, he’s been about as close as a pitcher can get. Silseth’s last three outings were starts and he has allowed four total runs in 17.2 innings with 26 strikeouts to three walks. Last time out he had 12 strikeouts over seven innings against the Mariners.
The issue for Silseth is he’s allowed four home runs in those three starts and somehow all four have been solo shots. That’s good news and could just be smart pitching, only giving a hitter an inch when the bases are clear, but odds are it’s more of a statistical anomaly than anything. If a few base runners happen to get on base in front of the next hitter to take him deep then his statline will look a whole lot different. That’s why he had a 3.77 FIP over that stretch of three starts with a 2.04 ERA.
Jose Urquidy has had bigger issues than Silseth, so ultimately the Angels could still get a stronger outing from their starter than Houston does even if Silseth gives up a three-run homer. Urquidy has given up seven homers in his seven starts with just 24 strikeouts to 13 walks in 31.0 innings.
The Astros have already scored 22 runs in this series and over the past week Jose Altuve has 14 hits in 25 at-bats and Kyle Tucker has driven in 11 runs, so some of the best hitters in their loaded offense are rolling. I trust that lineup against Silseth and don’t trust Urquidy much at all, so I’ll take the over.
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