Houston heads into its three-game series in L.A. riding a three-game winning streak, with an 11-game lead over Seattle in the AL West Standings.
Los Angeles is coming off a home series victory over the Yankees and an away three-game sweep over Toronto but is 14-games out of the AL Wild Card race.
Who will win this AL West matchup? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for the Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels on September 1.
Astros vs Angels odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Los Angeles opened as +142 underdogs, and that number has held steady. The total hit the board at 7.5 runs, and that number is currently as high as 8.
Astros vs Angels predictions
Picks made on 9/1/2022 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Astros vs Angels game info
• Location: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
• Date: Friday, September 2, 2022
• First pitch: 9:38 p.m. ET
• TV: AT&T Sportsnet-Southwest, Bally Sports West
Astros vs Angels betting preview
Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 1.69 ERA): McCullers has allowed three earned runs over his last 16 innings since returning from a lengthy stay on the IL. His 7.31 Ks per nine innings are well below his career 10 Ks per nine frames. His 4.58 xERA is high and the 4.57 xFIP suggests the young fireballer might be due for regression.
Reid Detmers (5-4, 3.47 ERA): The young southpaw has surrendered eight earned runs with 38 Ks over his previous 28 2-3 innings of work. Detmers offers a 4.07 xERA, a manageable 4.13 xFIP with a 2-2 record, and 3.20 ERA when starting at Angel Stadium in 2022.
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Betting trend to know
Astros are 6-0 in their last six vs. a team with a losing record. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. Angels
Astros vs Angels picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Houston would be your play here, but it isn’t the best bet we can make, as I’ll explain later.
McCullers is back in the rotation after missing several months with some sort of injury that is above my pay grade to explain.
What I can explain is the Astros’ fireballer is pitching fairly well and has gone five innings or more in each of his three starts, but as previously mentioned, the strikeouts aren’t there yet.
Houston works lefties hard, scoring the fifth-highest runs with the lowest strikeout rate in baseball. The Astros have slashed .250/.322/.438/.760 vs. lefties this season but have scored only 13 runs over their previous five contests.
Detmers has been good for the Angels this season. He has a winning record and his 3.20 ERA at home is strong, but his 4.22 xFIP suggests that maybe the young southpaw is due for regression. Pitching against Houston and its seventh-best wRC+ might not be much fun for the Angels’ top pick from the 2020 draft.
Finally, while Houston misses closer Ryan Pressly, Rafael Montero has picked up the slack with three saves over his past three outings. The Astros’ bullpen is better from top to bottom than what the 14th-ranked Angels bullpen produces, and a likely Houston lead is in safe hands with its bullpen.
Prediction: Astros moneyline (-154 at Pinnacle)
The total of 7.5 isn’t going to be enough for this contest.
Remember the regression I spoke of earlier? Look for that to happen Friday for both pitchers.
Houston has been in a terrible slump, but it has big-time power, a high walk rate, and it has slapped lefties silly this season, slashing .250/.322/.438/.760 and +118 wRC+.
Look for the Astros to bounce back Friday against Detmers and his three-walks with 1.23 bombs allowed per nine frames.
Los Angeles has been raking, with 21 runs scored against the Blue Jays and Yankees. While McCullers is considered a top-flight pitcher, his 1.44 WHIP and 4.56 xFIP suggest he could allow some runs to an Angels offense slashing .231/.297/.393/.690 this season vs. righties.
Prediction: Over 7.5 (-115 at Pinnacle)
I like the Over on the Angels’ team total of 3.5 as the best bet for Friday.
Right-handed hitters slash .345/.406/.517/.923 over 29 at-bats against McCullers this season. Mike Trout has been raking since returning from a long stint on the IL and slashed .277/.320/.553/.873 during the month of August.
Trout has a decent history vs. the Houston righty and has jacked a pair of bombs over 24 career at-bats against McCullers.
The Over is 10-10-1 when Los Angeles is a home underdog, and its recent offensive success as well as a healthy and productive Trout should carry the Angels Over the 3.5-run team total.
Finally, McCullers has always had difficulties pitching on the road. He’s recorded a career ERA of 4.50 with a 3.66 xFIP over 318 1-3 away innings pitched.
McCullers served up three earned runs with three walks and a bomb over five away innings pitched in a road loss to Atlanta, and the surging Angels offense is going to score a few runs against him on Friday.
Pick: Angels team total Over 3.5 runs (+115 at Pinnacle)
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