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MLB Betting Preview: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels- July 4th, 2014

On Friday night, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels will meet in the first of a three game series between the American League West rivals. Houston comes into the game in last place within the division. The Astros are 36-51 and 17 games behind the Oakland Athletics. Houston comes into this series having lost their last four games and 7 of their last 10. Houston has been better on the road than at home, but are still 20-26 away from Houston. For the Angels, they are currently at the top of the AL wildcard race. Los Angeles comes in with a 48-36 record, trailing Oakland by 3.5 games. The Angels have won 7 of their last 10 games overall. Los Angeles has enjoyed their home park more than any team in baseball, winning 27 of 41 home games.

The Los Angeles Angels are one of the top offensive teams in all of Major League Baseball. The Angels have scored 408 runs on the season, which ranks third. Also, Los Angeles as a team is batting .262, for fifth in MLB. Mike Trout, of course, is the big name for the Angels – as there is a reason why. Trout leads the team with a .314 batting average, also with 19 homeruns, and 62 runs batted in, as well as 56 runs scored. Albert Pujols and David Freese, a pair of former World Series champions with the Cardinals are assisting offensively as well. Pitching for the Angels in this game will be lefthander C.J. Wilson. Wilson is 8-6, 3.90 on the season. In his last start, Wilson allowed 7 hits and 4 runs in just 3.2 innings of work. C.J. Wilson is a career 81-58 pitcher.

Houston will counter with Dallas Keuchel, also a lefthander. Keuchel is 8-5, with a 2.78 earned run average. In his last start, he allowed 4 runs in 8 innings, but took the loss against Tampa Bay. He has lost his last two starts, both on the road. Offensively for the Astros, look out for youngster George Springer. Springer leads the team with 16 homeruns, along with 44 runs batted in. Jose Altuve has been in and out of the lineup for the Astros with an elbow issue, but appears to be ready to play in this one. Altuve is the top Houston hitter in their lineup.

Consensus

Divisional games are always interesting, because of knowing the opponent better than anyone. For Los Angeles, they are of course the favorite and have a more veteran pitcher on the mound. The Angels have a much better offense, and this game is going to come down to that. Look for Wilson to keep the Astros bats off balance, and Los Angeles to come away with some early runs. In the end, we like the Los Angeles Angels -179 in this one.

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