The L.A. Angels and Houston Astros conclude their three-game series on Sunday after a split. The rubber match will pit Jesse Chavez vs David Paulino. Regardless of the loss on Friday, the Astros have been on a heater all season long. They are shoulders above the rest, as they enter Sunday with a record of 44-19, a whopping margin between the rest in the division.
The ‘Stros currently assume a 12.5 game lead on the 2nd place Mariners, the Angels trail in 3rd, 13 games back. A win for Houston today would extend that lead further. Across the majors, the next closest team is the Rockies with 41 wins.
In the American League, it’s not close, as the Yankees are 2nd in line with 36 wins at the moment. The Yankees playing well is good for baseball, but the Astros are playing like the team to beat at this point. They seemingly took 2016 off after a breakout performance in 2015, but they’re charting the right course this season.
I don’t know if they felt it was going to be easy in 2016 so they slacked off, but they apparently learnt a lesson. The Astros also haven’t had to rely on just one pitcher, Dallas Keuchel. They’re getting much better production across the board, parlaying it into a record of 44-19.
The Astros will opt to go with David Paulino on Sunday, before he is presumably sent back down to the minors. All indications suggest that Joe Musgrove will come off the DL on Monday, which will leave Paulino the odd man out. It’s an important start for the 23-year-old, who is, more than anything, going through an audition process with the Astros. He’s been okay, but nothing to suggest that he should be a mainstay in the rotation. Veteran Jesse Chavez will counter Paulino on Sunday. Head below for our free Angels vs. Astros pick.
L.A. Angels vs. Houston Astros Pick
Jesse Chavez (5-6, 4.56 ERA) vs. David Paulino (0-0, 4.66 ERA)
Jesse Chavez is enjoying his time in his 13-year career. There aren’t many that can say they have that longevity. He’s never had a standout year, so we can’t say a model of consistency, but we’ll give him the longevity part. The Angels are his 8th team, so he’s been all over the map. Chavez currently owns a 4.56 ERA, with his best work coming at home. On the road, though, he has ran into some issues. His ERA stands at 5.09, with his WHIP rising from 1.12 at home to 1.46 on the road.
In two of his last three outings on the road, Chavez allowed at least 5 runs in each. He hasn’t had an ERA below 4.00 since 2014, with marks of 4.57, 4.21, and 4.18 his last three years. So, what you see is what you’re going to get with him at this stage in his career. The Astros are 2nd in the majors offensively, with an average of 5.5 runs scored per game.
Paulino doesn’t have much history at the major league level, a little different than the tune Chavez sings. He’s had three starts in two years, appearing in three games a year ago, and two in 2017. In 9.2 innings of work, he allowed 5 runs which equates to a 4.66 ERA. He also has a 1.55 WHIP and .349 OBA which could be brought down some. I have a feeling somebody is going to get blown up in this game. I just can’t put my finger on if it’s going to be Chavez or Paulino. In any event, I like a pick on the OVER on Sunday in Houston.
PICK: OVER 9.5 (-110)