8:10 p.m. ET – Angels at Astros (-161 ML) O/U: 9½
The 15-18 Angels travel to Minute Maid Park for a three-game series against the 18-16 Astros in Houston. Los Angeles took two of three games in the Freeway Series over the weekend against the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers in Anaheim. First baseman Jared Walsh’s two-run double propelled the Angels to a 2-1 win, despite facing off against reigning National League Cy Young Award winner in Trevor Bauer, who is now with the Dodgers. Houston took two of three from Toronto over the weekend, including a 7-4 win in front of its home crowd behind a four-RBI effort from right fielder Kyle Tucker.
About the Angels
The Angels’ batting order has been improved this season, averaging the sixth-most runs in Major League Baseball at 4.8 runs per game. Two-time American League MVP award winner Mike Trout is the early front runner to collect yet another one this season after starting the season while batting .376 with eight home runs and 18 RBI. Over his first 30 games, he is getting on base at a .488 clip.
Designated hitter/starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani has been dynamite in both facets of his game, especially at the plate, where he is batting .276 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI. Right fielder Walsh leads the team with 27 RBI, while hitting .325 with six home runs. The biggest issue for Los Angeles easily is the pitching staff, which is allowing a league-leading 5.6 runs per game. The Angels defense has not done the pitching staff any favors, however, as they have committed a major league-leading 33 errors.
About the Astros
The Astros have stabilized over the course of the last month coinciding with the return of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Yordan Alvarez after each key player missed over a week of games due to COVID-19 protocols early in April.
Houston ranks second in the big leagues at 5.1 runs per game so far this season. Alvarez has been blistering over the past seven games, hitting .517 with four home runs and seven RBI. First baseman Yuli Gurriel is right behind him with a .333 batting average to go along with five home runs and 25 RBI overall on the season. And former MVP Altuve had a monster series over the weekend with three multi-hit games against the Blue Jays. The Astros’ pitching staff is allowing 4.1 runs per game, which ranks 10th in MLB.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Angels||+1½ (-135)||+148||O 9½ (-110)|
|Astros||-1½ (+115)||-161||U 9½ (-110)|
The Pitching Matchup
Los Angeles has not decided who will be toeing the rubber to them on Monday night at this point. The Angels are expected to turn to a long reliever for two to three innings as they are needing nine innings from their bullpen with no clear starting arm available.
Houston is turning to right-hander Luis Garcia for his sixth appearance and fourth start of the 2021 campaign. Garcia is 0-3 with a 3.28 ERA and is coming off an outing in New York against the Yankees when he failed to make it through the fifth inning after allowing three runs.
What’s the Bet?
The Astros have struggled as favorites this season with a 12-14 record for over the first month of the season, but that is not as bad as how the Angels have performed as an underdog this season with a 9-16 record to this point. There is little value in laying the juice on Houston, which means you need to look at the total to find a bet worth taking.
Both teams have begun finding their stride at the dish over the past week or so, with each hitting the Over in seven of its last 10 games. Both rank in the top six teams in Major League Baseball in runs per game and that should be evident on Monday night when both batting orders force this one into a shootout against what looks to be hittable pitching. So figure on them combing for more than nine runs, thus surpassing the Over/Under total being offered and giving the sharp bettor a chance to cash in on all the offense.