Angels vs Astros Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Thursday, June 1
Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images. Pictured: Reid Detmers (Angels)
Angels vs. Astros Odds
-114 / -106
-114 / -106
The Los Angeles Angels have righted the ship once again with a series win over the Chicago White Sox and will now travel to Houston to take on the big, bad Astros.
Houston has cooled a bit lately and is coming off a series loss to the Twins, but the team still wrapped up a month of May that saw it go 17-10.
Let's get into how to bet Angels vs. Astros in our preview and prediction.
The first part of the equation here is Reid Detmers. The left-hander hasn't been quite as sharp as he was in 2022 when he pitched to a 3.77 ERA in 129 innings. His ERA sits a shade under five runs with a 4.45 xERA, though there are still plenty of things to like about the 23-year-old who was once a highly-touted pitching prospect.
Detmers may be pitching to a .263 xBA, but his .399 xSLG is below the league average and his barrel rate is just 5.6%. On top of that, the magical strikeout touch that we saw throughout Detmers' minor-league career has returned. He's now struck out 28.4% of the batters he's faced, after sitting down 22.6% last season. Detmers' walk numbers have been poor, and that's what's driven his xwOBA up and by association his xERA. Should he overcome those issues, he would theoretically be an above-average pitcher with these numbers.
The Angels have been excellent at the dish over the last two weeks with a 118 wRC+ that can only be topped by five major-league teams. While they've struck out in 27% of plate appearances, they've also managed to walk in 9.5% to complement their beefy .214 ISO.
The Astros have been smoking the ball since Jose Altuve's return, and their offensive numbers have yet to regress. They're in the top 10 with a 113 wRC+ over the last two weeks and have produced a 115 wRC+ over the last seven days with an insane .231 ISO. Though a lot of the damage did come in a sweep of the Oakland A's, the Astros still managed 12 runs in three games against a very good Twins pitching staff.
Speaking of pitching, there's nobody the Astros would rather have on the hill here than Framber Valdez. The lefty has pitched to a 2.38 ERA through 11 starts, bringing his strikeout rate up for a third straight year all the way to 26.9%.
While that's all well and good, there's some cause for concern here. While the strikeouts continue to trend upwards, Valdez's ground ball rate has sunk for a third straight year all the way to 60.7%. It's still a good number for a sinker-baller, but it's 5.9 points below his career average and far away from his 70.4% ground ball rate a couple of years ago. It's particularly concerning because Valdez has always allowed a lot of hard-hit balls; it wasn't much of an issue when they were all coming back on the ground, but now hitters are doing more damage against him.
Angels vs. Astros Betting Pick
The Angels are in the bottom 10 of the league when it comes to ground ball rate and have a lineup full of home run threats. I couldn't think of a worse matchup for Valdez, whose underlying numbers I've documented above. The Angels are hitting the ball just as well as the Astros, and I believe they've got the better of the two pitchers here.
Detmers is young and continues to improve with every start. He'll show up when the Angels need him and deliver a victory here for a team that continues to trend upwards. I locked this in at +146 at FanDuel.
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