The Houston Astros are defending World Series Champions but all of the talk this season has been regarding the New York Yankees. There’s no denying why that’s the case, of course, the Yanks acquired Stanton in the offseason and are currently on a 19-3 run in their last 22 games. Meanwhile, the Astros have been good, however it hasn’t looked as easy as the Yankees are making it look. Nevertheless, the Astro pitching staff is nothing to sneeze at and when it comes down to it, pitching wins games in the postseason. The Astros have won five of their last six games, including back-to-back wins over the Texas Rangers.
The ‘Stros do appear to have some competition in the division this season. That would be the team they’re playing on Monday, the Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are coming off a split against the Twins, their latest resulting in a 2-1 win. They are currently a game back of the Astros with 24 wins vs the Astros’ 26. Every game with the Astros is going to be important, from a confidence standpoint and in the standings. If they know they can compete with Houston, it may provide an extra boost. They will have a challenge against Lance McCullers who has been in fine form for the Astros. The Halos will counter with Andrew Heaney. Head below for our free Astros vs. Angels pick to get the week started on Monday.
Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels Pick
Lance McCullers (5-1, 3.72 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (1-2, 4.78 ERA)
For the Angels to succeed this season, they’re going to have to climb over some mountains in the American League. The Angels must be able to jump over not only the Astros but the Yankees and Red Sox. I think you’ll get some people say well if they reach the postseason it’s mission accomplished. Not quite, once you get to that point you want more and then some more. For a player of Mike Trout’s caliber, a World Series sure would be nice to solidify his already notable individual achievements.
McCullers has been capable for the Astros thus far with a 3.72 ERA. He’s coming off a productive start where he gave up just 2 runs against the Athletics. He held the Yankees to just 3 runs, which doesn’t sound like much, but their offense has been hot of late.
Heaney is one year removed from a brutal year which saw him get torched for an ERA of 7.06. That was only in five starts which he has already reached in 2018. He enters with a pedestrian ERA of 4.78. The last time he has more than five starts in the majors was a few years back. This was the only year he made more than five starts in a year. Heaney had spent most of his time in the minors. I like McCullers to win this matchup, as the Astros hope to keep pace with the Yanks in 2018. It’s going to be interesting to see how Heaney’s arm reacts with the extra workload.