LA Angels (31-38) at Houston (34-36)
When: Monday, June 20th 2016
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Time: 8:10 ET | TV: FSN West, ROOT Houston
The Houston Astros look to continue their climb toward the .500 mark when they open a three-game series at home against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday. The Astros were sitting at 17-28 on May 22nd when manager A.J. Hinch decided to switch George Springer and Jose Altuve at the top of the batting order. Since then, the Astros have gone 17-8 and are just 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. The Angels have won four of their past five games after holding Oakland to one run in two games over the weekend. Jered Weaver tossed a three-hit shutout against Oakland on Sunday as the Angels won 2-0. L.A. dropped two of three at home to the Astros from May 27th-29th, but they will have six opportunities over the next 10 days to get back at them as the A.L. West rivals meet again next week in Los Angeles. Altuve, who is hitting .393 this month, went 6-for-11 against the Angels in the first series between the teams and is a career .351 hitter in 60 games versus Los Angeles. The Angels Albert Pujols’ 52 career homers against Houston are the most by any player all-time versus the Astros.
Pitchers: Angels – Jhoulys Chacin (3-4, 5.00 ERA) | Astros – Doug Fister (7-3, 3.26)
Jhoulys Chacin will make his 8th start for the Angels after beginning the season in Atlanta. He hasn’t fared much better with his new team. He is 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA in three June starts after a 10-strikeout gem against Detroit on May 30th in which he tossed a four-hitter for his first complete game since 2011. Chacin settled for a no-decision in his lone career start versus Houston in 2013 but has allowed current Astro hitters to bat .306 against him.
Doug Fister extended his team’s winning streak in his starts to nine games on Tuesday allowing two runs and five hits over 7.1 innings in St. Louis on Tuesday. The former National is 6-0 with a 2.35 ERA since the beginning of May and has allowed three runs or fewer in 12 of his 13 trips to the mound this season. Fister did not factor in the decision versus the Angels on May 29th after surrendering three runs (one earned) over six innings and is 2-3 with a 2.74 ERA in 10 career starts against them.
I like Houston a lot here tonight. They’re playing well and Fister is hot. Chacin has just been terrible and probably won’t get past the 6th inning. Take the runline.
Pick: Astros -1.5 +145