Los Angeles (Chacin) at Houston (Fister) O/U 8.5
Recommendation: Houston -1.5 R/L
Houston is now gaining some traction going 17-8 in its last 25 games and creeping to within 2.5 games of second place Seattle in the AL West and 4.5 games of the AL's second Wild Card spot. Part of the recent surge is due to the pitching of tonight’s starter Doug Fister who has now rattled off six quality starts in his last seven appearances including four straight heading into this game. Over this 44.1 IP span, Fister has gone 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Three weeks ago he faced this Angels team in Anaheim and went 6 innings allowing just 1 earned run. Countering Fister will be Jhoulys Chacin who outings lately have gone in the opposite direction. After closing out May with three quality starts in four trips to the mound, Chacin has pitched poorly in June recording a 7.04 ERA, 1.83 WHIP with eight walks and only six strikeouts. Expect the Astros strikeout prone lineup to feast on Chacin’s pitch to contact trend while Fister tames the LA lineup. Each bullpen is thoroughly rested but Houston carries a major advantage in that category since the Angels relief corps still minus setup man Joe Smith is very capable of yielding middle to late inning run. Lean here will be toward a run line play on the Astros at +145.