Lance McCullers (4-4, 3.61 ERA) and Matt Shoemaker (5-9, 4.08 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Houston Astros (51-44) and the Los Angeles Angels (43-52) at Minute Maid Park. The Angels come into this series riding a six-game winning streak. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Jul. 22 and can be seen on RTSW and FSW.
McCullers pitched 5.1 innings in his last outing, surrendering one run, striking out eight and walking four in a 1-0 defeat to the Mariners. Jose Altuve (.357, 73 Rs, 15 HRs, 54 RBIs, 25 SBs) continued his strong play Wednesday, going 2 for 3. Shoemaker went 9.0 innings, surrendering zero runs and striking out 13 in a 1-0 win over the White Sox in his most recent start. Mike Trout (.320, 75 Rs, 19 HRs, 62 RBIs, 17 SBs) went 1 for 3 Wednesday with one run and one stolen base.
The Astros are a -145 favorite with a total of 8 runs for this AL West battle.
Pick - Hou
The Astros are 24-21 against their divisional rivals, while the Angels are 18-20 against their division.
When leading after seven innings, Houston is 25-19, while Los Angeles is 19-25.
The Angels are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded three strikeouts. The Astros have a record of 2-0 when opponents' pitchers have three strikeouts or less.
When they outhit their opponents, the Angels are 36-8. The Astros have a 37-5 record when outhitting opponents.
Both falling in the top half of the league based on total runs this season, Houston ranks 15th with 430 runs and Los Angeles is 11th with 443.
Houston and Los Angeles both rank in the top half of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Houston sits at 14th with an OPS of .742, and Los Angeles ranks 13th with an OPS of .746.
When the Angels allow at least one home run, they are 24-43. When the Astros allow one or more homers, they have a 31-28 record.