Wednesday MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction: Angels vs. Astros Betting Preview (May 12)
Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The Astros’ Jason Castro crosses home plate against the Angels.
- The Angels and Astros meet on Wednesday out with a series win over a division rival at stake.
- How will these offenses fare against Andrew Heaney and Jose Urquidy?
- Kenny Ducey breaks it down and makes his betting pick below.
Angels vs. Astros Odds
|Over/Under||8.5 (-108 / -112)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday morning and via FanDuel.|
The Angels and Astros have been hot at the dish of late and have done a lot of winning. Something’s got to give here, however, with one team picking up the series win in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Both teams will send pitchers to the hill who have had some mild success in 2021, but are things about to change on Tuesday against some surging offenses? Let’s dig into the matchup and see if there’s some value in targeting the total here.
Los Angeles Angels
Don’t look now but the disappointing Angels have won three of five games and appear to be figuring some things out. A win on Tuesday night will mean a second consecutive series win, and against two quality opponents in the Dodgers and Astros. Los Angeles has done this behind a much-improved offense which ranks 10th in wRC+ and OPS, but in a larger sense it’s been helped out big-time by its arms.
One of those impressive hurlers will take the hill on Tuesday in Andrew Heaney. The southpaw has been sensational this season, raising his strikeout rate 11.3% to rank inside the top 7% of the league with an elite 36.4% mark. He’s followed that with a .212 expected batting average, and has a shiny 3.35 expected ERA. The whiffs have been there for Heaney, who has increased his swings and misses off the four-seamer by getting his heavy fastball up in the zone, which has helped drive up the effectiveness of his curveball, a pitch he’s throwing more frequently now.
Heaney will be in for a challenge against an Astros team that’s creating the second-most runs per 100 pitches against the fastball, according to FanGraphs. Houston also ranks fifth against righties with a 117 wRC+, to make matters worse.
It won’t be easy, but I suppose if Heaney thinks very hard he can remember that he worked around these Houston bats two seasons ago in two starts, where he allowed just four runs in 9 1/3 innings. It may not sound great, but he’d take five innings of two-run ball right now, I’m sure.
The Astros are also very much a team on the rise, entering the winner of four games in six tries and looking for a second consecutive series win in their own right.
Houston’s been able to lay claim to one of the best offenses in baseball lately, scoring a combined 37 runs in its last six games, never once dipping below four in a game. The Astros lead the league with a 137 wRC+ over the past seven days, and we’ve already touched on their prowess against lefties. At the moment, it’d seem to be advantage, Houston.
Then, however, you take a look at today’s starter and realize the sailing may not be so smooth. Do I think José Urquidy is good? Goodness, no. This guy is pitching to an 82% contact rate for a second straight year, strikes nobody out, and allows quality contact on a regular basis. I mean, any time you give up four earned over five at home against the Rockies, you’re doing it wrong.
There have, of course, been some good starts for Urquidy mixed in with the bad, but they’ve been few and far between. The fact remains that this guy is not a good pitcher, as evidenced by his consistently bad expected ERA and low swing-and-miss numbers. If he’s going to pitch to contact against a team that’s masterful at putting the bat on the ball, things aren’t going to go so well.
I never have an issue fading Urquidy, and will continue to do that on Tuesday. I will, however, have to concede that I should be fading Heaney as well. Houston’s offense is too hot, and they’ve hit lefties (and fastballs) too well to ignore. It shouldn’t be smooth sailing for either pitcher here.
I think both teams should make plenty of contact and can get us across the finish line for the over.
Pick: Over 8.5 (-108)