It's a busy Thursday night of MLB action with the All-Star break just four days away.
Astros vs. Angels Odds, Prediction and Pick
- Astros -1.5 (-110) | Angels +1.5 (-110)
- Astros -175 | Angels +150
- 8 (OVER -110 | UNDER -110)
Earlier today, I said the Astros would be looking for revenge, and I think they’ll do it in big fashion. Houston has lost 29 games this season. Following those losses, the Astros are 18-11 against the run line.
They also have the better pitcher on the mound in Valdez. He's top 15 in record and just outside the top 10 in ERA. Valdez struck out 13 batters in his last start against the Angels, so so I'll trust him and the Astros to continue their stellar bounce back ways.
Los Angeles' win last night felt like lightning striking. They haven't been able to grab wins and with Reid Detmers and his 4.22 ERA stepping up to the mound tonight, I don't have a lot of faith in the Angels.
Lean: Astros -1.5 (-105)
You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.
Mariners vs. Rangers Odds, Prediction and Pick
- Mariners -1.5 (+145) | Rangers +1.5 (-210)
- Mariners +110 | Rangers -120
- 8.5 (OVER -105 | UNDER -115)
Much like the Mariners, the also streaking Baltimore Orioles came into multiple matchups this week as underdogs vs. the Chicago Cubs despite playing far better than their opponents. Multiple times, they proved the oddsmakers wrong; winning as road favorites.
Seattle is a superior team to the Rangers, and it's easy to see a recent sample that shows why it makes sense to back the better team playing their best baseball of the season.
But that's not what I believe to be the right play.
Martín Pérez goes for the Rangers tonight and he's been sensational, as well as consistent all year long. The veteran left-hander has the lowest HR/9 on the slate at 0.50, and has pitched to a 2.72 ERA and a 3.07 Fielder Independent Pitching, or FIP. On the slate tonight, only Kevin Gausman, Carlos Rodón, and Corbin Burnes have been more valuable in WAR (wins above replacement to their team) than Peréz.
His counterpart, Marco Gonzales, has a very good 3.24 ERA, but he's due to regress heavily soon with a FIP of nearly two runs higher at 5.14. He doesn't strike anyone out (4.67 K/9) and gives up lots of fly balls and home runs.
We saw this very example play out in Anaheim Wednesday night with newly named AL MVP favorite Shohei Ohtani on the mound. The Angels have been the worst team in baseball since late May, with Ohtani accounting for 6 of their 12-38 record during that span when on the mound. Yet he and the Halos were favorites against a very good Houston Astros team with another good starter on the mound in Cristian Javier.
Momentum is only as good as your next day's starting pitcher, and in today's case, that belongs to Pérez.
LEAN: Rangers ML -120
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