The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels wrap up the regular season with a four-game series at Angel Stadium. The Astros were in the postseason a long time ago. They’ve held around a 10 to 7-game lead in the AL West consistently throughout the season.
The Athletics have been a good team, but it hasn’t been good enough to play catch up on the Astros. With 104 wins and the Yankees at 102, the only thing they are trying to protect is homefield advantage in the American League. The Dodgers have clinched the best record overall, so that’s out of the question now.
The Astros enter playing great baseball. They’re on a three-game win streak and have gone 9-1 in their previous ten games. Many regard Astros as the team to beat in the postseason, and with their arsenal in the rotation, it’s not going to be easy to upset the ‘Stros. That said, this is going to be a competitive, wide-open playoff in October. We’re going to find out soon if trading for Zack Greinke was worth it after all. Fall baseball is why they traded for him in the first place.
Anaheim have nothing to consume themselves with baseball wise in October. It’s another wasted season in the Mike Trout era, as the Angels will finish way outside of the postseason. They really have to consider putting a team around Trout soon or it’s going to be another decade of nothingness for the Angels.
After signing Albert Pujols in 2012, the former Cardinal has endured a lot of losing with the Angels. He’s made a lot of money, but a lot of losing as well. Pujols’ contract was a bust, and I don’t think Trout is going to turn into an average player like he has, but the results might be the same as a team if management doesn’t do something. As per usual, the Angels will go into the offseason with questions regarding their rotation.
Even if Tyler Skaggs were alive, they’d still have rotation issues. The Angels will send out Jaime Barria for the start in this one. Wade Miley, who is looking to find confidence going into October, will counter for the Astros. Head below for our free Astros vs. Angels pick.
Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels Pick:
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Wade Miley was lost behind the giants in this impressive Astros’ rotation, but he was pitching at very high level of play. They signed him in the wake of Charlie Morton leaving for a better contract in Tampa with the Rays and the ROI was tremendous on Miley. However, there has been a changing of the tide in September and the Astros are keeping their fingers crossed that it doesn’t go into October. Since a start against the Mariners on September 5th, Miley has been out of it on the mound.
The perception after allowing 5 hits and 5 earned runs without recording an out against the Mariners was that it was just an outlier. However, then Miley fired back with an even worse outing against the Athletics. Miley was tagged for 7 hits and 7 earned runs, having notched just 1 out. He was able to escape major damage against the Royals in the next start, but again was shaky, with 7 hits and 2 walks yielded in 6 innings.
His most recent appearance was back to more of the bad stuff from Miley. He surrendered 4 hits and 4 earned runs in just 1 inning against the same team he’ll see tonight. There comes a point where you can’t chalk it up as an outlier. Miley doesn’t have a flamethrower. Rather, he likes to pick his spots and paint a picture on the bump. It isn’t working for him right now and hitters are figuring his spots out. In his previous three outings, Miley has gotten hit for a 15.95 ERA and 3.00 WHIP.
Jaime Barria was roughed up in his most recent outing as well. That came against the Astros in Houston. The ‘Stros scored 6 runs on 8 hits in 2.2 innings against Barria. That was all the damage the Astros needed to inflict on the Angels. They coasted the rest of the way for a 6-4 victory. Barria enters Thursday with a 9.00 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in his previous 12 innings of work. We likely see enough from the bats to notch a winning pick on the OVER.