The LA Angels played like a team who wants to be playing in October last night. The Angels put on their big boy pants and slapped the Astros for a 9-1 win. It’s what they need, as they sit 2 games back of the final wildcard. The Twins won last night, though, essentially washing out the win for the Angels. They’ve gone 2-4 in their last six games, so there were some missed chances there to reel the Twins in.
If they can take two of three off the Astros, that should be a nice springboard to give them some confidence over the next couple of weeks. The Astros on the other hand, have watched their lead in the American League vanish. The Indians won their 21st in a row yesterday, tying the American League record. It not only broke a record, but put some more space between them and the Astros.
I said it a month ago, I side with teams that have elite bullpens in the postseason. With that said, if the Astros and Indians meet, I like the Indians to take that series. Not to say that the ‘Stros couldn’t win that series, especially if the Indians are blowing their load too early in September.
The Astros have gone 1-5 in their last six games, so they’re hoping to get the losses out of their system now. There is a danger in getting too complacent, though, something the Astros have to avoid over the next two weeks. It is difficult to go from cold to hot on a dime. In any event, this is going to make for one exciting postseason in the majors. It’s going to be a crazy October with plenty of twists and turns. Ricky Nolasco will get the call for the Angels in another crucial game for them. Brad Peacock counters for the Astros. Get the free MLB pick below.
Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels Pick
Brad Peacock (10-2, 3.05 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (6-13, 5.19 ERA)
Nolasco and some of the other marginal pitchers on the Angels have to step it up. Simple as that. They do not have the most potent rotation in the majors. The Angels have written massive checks out to Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, but they haven’t addressed their pitching problems, like finding a high-end elite ace. Throw in a true ace in the Pujols/Trout era and the Angels would have been in the postseason already. As it looks, though, they may come up just short once again. Nolasco will do his best, armed with a 5.19 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in his hip pocket.
Nolasco is coming off a loss against the Astros on August 27th, allowing 4 runs and 6 hits across 6 innings. He’s gotten drilled against this lineup in his career, with an opposing batting average of .323. It isn’t a small sample size either with 229 at-bats. The Astros went on to secure a 7-5 win. As has been the story all season long, the ‘Stros lead MLB with 5.48 runs per game. The Angels are 22nd with a 4.41 runs per game. Peacock enters hot, with a 2.12 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in his last three starts. He’s also been better on the road, posting a 2.95 ERA. Peacock has been quite the sleeper for the Astros this season and just continues to perform. I think they will get a win back tonight, after getting blown out the night before.
PICK: ASTROS (-130)