Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Angels Picks and Predictions May 22nd 2024

Houston Astros vs LA Angels Angels MLB Wed, May 22, 14:10 pm.
Houston Astros
ML: -210
LA Angels Angels
ML: 170

Astros Seek to Maintain Momentum as Angels Aim to Contain Red-Hot Kyle Tucker

Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker has been on an incredible streak this season, showcasing his resilience and consistent performance. After striking out in each of his first three at-bats in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Tucker rebounded spectacularly, homering in his final two plate appearances. This set the stage for another standout performance against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Tucker displayed his formidable skills once again, recording his seventh multi-homer game of his career, his fourth of the season, and his second in just three games. His contributions were crucial in the Astros’ 6-5, 10-inning victory over the Angels, evening the best-of-three series.

Tucker entered the game leading the American League in several key statistics, including OPS (1.039), slugging (.618), on-base percentage (.421), and walks (39). He maintained this elite level of production, going 2-for-4 with two solo home runs (his 16th and 17th of the season), three runs scored, and a walk. Tucker’s performance has been a significant factor in the Astros’ recent surge up the standings.

“Just impressive,” Astros manager Joe Espada remarked. “Every time he comes to the plate, you’re just expecting him to do something awesome. Only a few players can do what he’s doing. He’s definitely one of the best players in this league and he’s really picking us up right now.”

Looking ahead, right-hander Hunter Brown (1-4, 7.71 ERA) is slated to start the series’ rubber match for the Astros on Wednesday. Brown earned his first win of the season in his previous start, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts over five innings in a 5-4 victory over the Brewers. This outing matched a season-low for hits allowed by Brown, who has recorded a 4.40 ERA with 17 strikeouts over 14 1/3 innings in May. Brown’s last encounter with the Angels saw him allow four runs on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision game.

On the mound for the Angels will be left-hander Tyler Anderson (4-4, 2.72 ERA). Anderson’s last start was impressive, surrendering just one run on a season-low two hits and two walks with four strikeouts over seven innings in a 9-3 victory over the Texas Rangers. This performance matched a season-high for innings pitched by Anderson, who achieved this feat in three different starts last month. However, Anderson has struggled historically against the Astros, with a 0-2 record and a 7.34 ERA over seven career starts, including a 9.39 ERA over two starts against Houston last season.

In Tuesday’s game, the Angels’ bullpen faltered, with three different relievers – Carson Fulmer, Luis Garcia, and closer Carlos Estevez – conceding crucial runs. Estevez surrendered the walk-off single to Jeremy Pena in the 10th inning. Angels manager Ron Washington acknowledged the difficulty of pitching against the Astros’ top hitters, including Tucker, Pena, and Yordan Alvarez, all of whom had two-hit games, combining for five runs, four RBIs, and two walks.

“We had the people in there that we wanted toward the end of the game,” Washington said. “They (the Astros) fought, and they won it.”

Strategic Insights

Astros’ Strengths:

  • The Astros’ top hitters are consistently producing runs and exerting pressure on opposing pitchers.
  • Tucker’s ability to perform in clutch situations has been a key advantage, making him a focal point of the Astros’ offense.

Angels’ Challenges:

  • The Angels need to develop an effective pitching strategy to contain the Astros’ potent lineup, particularly the top hitters.
  • Improving bullpen reliability is crucial to avoid late-game breakdowns, as seen in their recent loss.

The Astros’ continued success will rely heavily on Tucker’s exceptional form and the team’s ability to maintain offensive pressure. Meanwhile, the Angels must find ways to counter this and secure better performances from their bullpen to turn the tide in their favor. As the series progresses, all eyes will be on how these strategies unfold on the field.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Wed, May 22, 02:34 am.
Houston Astros
O 9
LA Angels Angels
U 9
James Anderson | Handicapper

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