The Houston Astros pummeled the Los Angeles Angels into submission on Saturday with a 14-2 win. Houston opened up a 6-0 lead by the 4th inning and didn’t let up. They capped it off with 4 runs in the top of the 8th inning to go ahead for a 14-2 lead. That’s how the game would end, as the Astros made easy work of the Angels for the first of a brief two-game series. Kind of a weird schedule without the Friday night game, so the Astros and Angels will wrap up their two-game this afternoon at Angel Stadium.
The Angels were never in the game yesterday and will try to do it on Sunday with Matt Harvey on the bump. Harvey had had a polarizing season thus far as he’s been all over the map. It’s been more bad than good for him, though. That said, he’s coming off a standout performance against the Royals in Kansas City.
Harvey’s career has been mostly down since he dazzled the majors as a youngster beginning in 2012. He had his ERA below 3.00 for his first three seasons of his career as a major league pitcher. That scenario has changed and the Mets pretty much gave up on him early last season. They gave him an ultimatum, go down to the minors in Las Vegas or you’re getting canned. Harvey didn’t feel like he is a minor league pitcher and ultimately left for Cincinnati.
He saved his career in Cincinnati, as he showed that he can be a rotation filler. That can keep the paychecks flowing, but it doesn’t look like he’s ever going to be on an elite level of play again. It was such a sudden fall for him after the 2015 season. It’s almost as if the surgery he had on his shoulder didn’t impact him until two years later. He missed all of 2014, but was fine with a 2.71 ERA upon coming back. Harvey has a tall chore against Justin Verlander in this one. Head below for our free Astros vs. Angels pick.
Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Angels are going to have to give Matt Harvey some solid run support Sunday, but it’s not going to be easy with Justin Verlander staring at them on the mound. Verlander has looked like vintage JV, as he’s been on fire with only 1 run allowed in each of his previous four outings. Along with just 1 run allowed, Verlander allowed an average of 2.75 hits per game during that stretch.
In his previous three showings, he’s been on point with an ERA of 1.29 and 0.67 WHIP. He faced the Angels late last season in September and was flawless. Verlander was sharp with just 1 hit and no runs allowed across 6 innings.
He also had 11 strikeouts to round out a pretty impressive effort. JV has a long history against this lineup and has always nailed them down. In 220 at-bats, the Angels are hitting just .168. Given that extensive history, it’s a good bet that Verlander is going to have another solid showing against this lineup.
Harvey hasn’t seen much of this Astros team. He’s seen them in only 10 at-bats and it didn’t go so well for him. The Astros connected for 6 hits and 3 RBI’s. Out of the six batters he faced, all of them except Jake Marisnick recorded a hit at the plate.
The ‘Stros were on fire at the plate yesterday and I think it should be able to carry over on Sunday against Harvey. Another 14 runs? Doubtful, but it likely is going to be enough to put pressure on the Angels’ offense. Following four straight wins for the Angels, expect them to lose their second in a row. The Astros get a win here by a couple of runs or more on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim.