MLB

Astros Can Start Strong Against Angels

The Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros end their three-game series on Sunday afternoon, with two rookies taking the hill. What's the right MLB pick?

Los Angeles Angels (45-45) vs. Houston Astros (56-33)

Sunday, July 7 at 2:10 PM ET

Minute Maid Park

Coverage: MLB Network

36°

Sunny to partly cloudy

Winds from the SSE 9 km/h

The Astros are -164 favorites and according to the computer projections at FiveThirtyEight, they win this game 59 percent of the time, which gives us a -144 line using an odds converter, so I'm not taking a side here.

Jazz Sports set the total for this game at 10 and NumberFire gives the Under a 51.2 percent likelihood. FiveThirtyEight doesn't project scores but Jeff Sagarin at USA Today assigns each team an offensive and defensive rating so let's interpret those numbers.

Here's what Sagarin has for these two teams:

Angels: 3.23 OFF, 3.24 DEF

Astros: 3.18 OFF, 2.89 DEF

Now we multiply one team's offense with the other's defense to get the first team's projected score:

Angels: 9.33

Astros: 10.30

Now we subtract each number by the provided constant, which is 5.80 in this case.

Angels: 3.53

Astros: 4.50

This gives us a combined score of 8.03 runs, so it seems like we're supposed to play the Under in this game but is hard to trust in these rookies. Jose Suarez hasn't pitched more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his four starts and Jose Urquidy lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his only start in the majors, last Tuesday against the Rockies.

Looking at the potential lineups, the Astros could have six right-handers and you can get to Suarez from the right side, as he has a .408 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) against righties and a .304 Isolated Power (ISO) against right-handers and Houston can have seven batters with a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) above .340 against lefties and four batters with an Isolated Power (ISO) above .185 against left-handers.

MLB Pick: Astros 1st 5 -155 at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff

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