It’s a Thursday evening showdown between AL West rivals, and we have a free MLB pick for the series finale between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels.
Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels
Thursday, July 14, 2022 – 08:07 PM EDT at Angel Stadium
What to Expect on Thursday
Shohei Ohtani did his thing Wednesday night in Anaheim by helping the Los Angeles Angels end a five-game losing streak with his bat and his arm, and that has them in position to win a series from the division-leading Houston Astros on Thursday.
Houston will turn to Framber Valdez (8-4, 2.64 ERA) to try and end this road trip on a winning note, and the Astros are listed around -160 for the matchup against Reid Detmers (2-3, 4.22 ERA) and the Angels with the contest carrying an eight-run total.
Series Notes and Rivalry Trends
Ohtani saw his string of starts without allowing an earned run come to an at four on Wednesday, but extended his streak of winning starts to six as he worked six innings and struck out a dozen while driving in two of the Angels’ runs with a triple in the 7-1 victory.
- The win snapped LA’s five-game losing streak as well as Houston four-game win streak in the rivalry, leaving the Astros with a 7-4 advantage in the series this season.
- The final made it past what was a seven-run total at most shops, the fourth time in the last six meetings in Anaheim for the division foes to record an ‘over’ winner.
Framber Valdez Pitching Analysis
Named to the American League All-Star team for the first time in his career, this figures to be Valdez’s last appearance before the break, which means he lines up as one of the hurlers manager Dusty Baker will work into the contest at Dodger Stadium next Tuesday.
Valdez took a tough loss last Saturday in Oakland. The southpaw allowed three runs – two earned – over eight innings in a 3-2 setback against the A’s. Houston closed as -300 chalk on the
This will be the fourth time Valdez has faced the Angels this season. He split the first two, pitching shutout baseball into the seventh in Anaheim on Opening Day. Valdez then took a no-decision 11 days ago in Houston, allowing two runs over six frames in a contest the Astros eventually won 4-2 as -220 favorites.
Reid Detmers Pitching Analysis
Detmers is coming off his best outing since a complete game no-hitter back in early-May, only to earn the dreaded no-decision last Friday in Baltimore where his bullpen wasted six shutout innings in a 5-4 loss to an Orioles team that closed -130 on the MLB odds.
In his six starts before that, Detmers had been somewhat cursed by the post no-hitter blues. The Illinois native had a couple of decent outings against the Yankees and Red Sox, but failed to make it through the fifth inning in those contests. He posted an 8.34 ERA in the other four assignments.
Thursday will be the second time Detmers has faced the Astros this season, and first appearance against them since the second game of the year when he gave up two solo homers – Jose Altuve leading off the game and Aledmys Diaz – during his four innings of work in a 13-6 Houston rout.
Umpire Notes and Trends
Manny Gonzalez will call balls and strikes to close out the series for Jeff Nelson’s umpire crew. In his 14 plate assignments of 2022, Gonzalez has split the totals right down the middle with seven ‘over’ winners and seven ‘under’ winners at the best sportsbooks.
As expected, Mike Trout did not play on Wednesday. He left Tuesday’s tilt early with upper back spasms, and is officially listed as questionable for Thursday’s series finale with the Astros.
Houston is also missing a couple of key bats in their lineup. Michael Brantley has no set time to return to the lineup as he mends from a shoulder injury, while Yordan Alvarez is expected to miss a couple more weeks with a hand injury.
Thursday’s Best Bet
Houston has been playing well lately and the entire first half of the season while building a very comfortable lead in the AL West standings, but the Astros have to avoid becoming too complacent at this stage, especially with a hard-charging Mariners team nipping at their heels.
Look for the Astros to make a quick return to the win column; play Houston on the run line and the final MLB score to go past the total.
MLB Pick: Astros -1.5 (+107) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)
MLB Pick: Over 8 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.