Editorial by: Graydon Fox
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“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Astros 4.9 – Angels 4.1 with an over/under of 9.0.
HOU: Justin Verlander (9-5, 2.29) vs LAA: Nick Tropeano (3-4, 4.83)
Runs per game: Astros 5.05 (5th) > Angels 4.38 (15th)
Batting Average: Astros .261 (3rd) > Angels .244 (22nd)
On Base Percentage: Astros .334 (4th) > Angels .316 (17th)
Total Bases: Astros 1458 (3rd) > Angels 1365 (10th)
Stolen Bases: Astros 53 (8th) > Angels 45 (15th)
Team Earned Run Average: Astros 2.94 (1st) > Angels 3.81 (9th)
Batting Average Against: Astros .210 (1st) > Angels .245 (15th)
Walks/Hits Per Innings Pitched: Astros 1.06 (1st) > Angels 1.31 (15th)
Strikeouts: Astros 1042 (1st) > Angels 877 (5th)
Saves: Astros 24 (18th) > Angels 22 (22nd)
Errors: Astros 41 (4th) > Angels 47 (9th)
The Astros enter the game ranking 5th in runs per game (5.05) and 1st in team earned run average (2.94). The Astros are (6-4) in their last ten games and (32-14) on the road this season. Jose Altuve (.332, 9 HR, 44 RBI, 14 SB) has followed up his MVP season with another solid campaign. Alex Bregman (.288, 20 HR, 64 RBI) has emerged as one of baseball’s best young players. The Astros will be without their star shortstop Carlos Correa (.268, 13 HR, 49 RBI) who remains sidelined with a back injury. The Astros easily have the best starting rotation in the majors while their bullpen ranks second in ERA (2.75). The Astros will be up against Angels righty Nick Tropeano (3-4, 4.83) who is just returning from the disabled list. Houston batters are hitting a combined .306 against Tropeano in 49 total at-bats. Tropeano has struggled at home (0-2, 6.12) and was (0-1, 10.00) in June.
The Angels rank 15th in runs per game (4.38) and 9th in team ERA (3.81). Los Angeles is (5-5) in their last ten games and (24-23) at home this season. Mike Trout is the early favorite for American League MVP and is just putting up ridiculous numbers (.310 AVG, .454 OBP, 25 HR, 50 RBI, 15 SB). Andrelton Simmons has put together a nice offensive season (.313) to go with his typical gold glove defense. Shohei Otani’s injury was a major blow to the pitching staff but he can still have an impact with the bat. Injuries have derailed an Angels rotation that looked very promising at the beginning of the year. The Angels will have their hands full with Justin Verlander (9-5, 2.29) who is sporting a ridiculous 0.84 WHIP. Verlander has held Angels hitters to a combined .132 average in 228 at-bats. Verlander is (7-2, 1.99) on the road this season and (0-1, 3.32) in his last three starts.
These two teams have split the season series (3-3) thus far. Obviously, Houston has a huge advantage in this pitching match-up with their ace Justin Verlander on the mound. Angels starter Nick Tropeano is making his first start off the DL and has been hit hard in the past by the Astros. I expect the Astros to score early off Tropeano and Verlander will shut down the Angels offense.
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