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June 27, 2016

One pick has been released.

Take LA Angels (-113) on the ML against Houston Astros risking 3.39% to win 3%.
(Shoemaker must start for wager to have action)

The time is running out for Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to make the playoffs. They find themselves at the cellar of the AL West division and 8.5 games behind a Wild Card spot! Much of the season remains so all is not yet lost but if Mike Trout and company want to play October baseball, they have to get on a winning streak soon. While we don't believe they are ultimatley good enough to make the post-season, we do believe they have several advantages on this particular night.

The Halos snapped a 6-game losing skid when they rallied from a 6-2 deficit to walk-off against Oakland yesterday. They were on the verge of suffering an embarrassing 4-game sweep at the hands of the Athletics but showed great determination and character to fight back and win the game. We believe that will serve as an important and morale-boosting victory and one that will have uplifted the entire clubhouse! Losing can take its toll on proud players like Pujols, Trout, Calhoun and the rest of the gang and it was evident that some of the players had lost some of their usual confidence and swagger. They regained some of that mojo by loading the bases in the bottom of the 9th inning and getting a much needed 'W'!

The Astros have been playing better baseball recently but have proven to be a streaky team and are coming off a defeat. We wonder if yesterday's loss to KC Royals which snapped their 7-game winning streak will have a negative temporary effect on them tonight. They should still do fine in this series even if they lose tonight given that they are going up against the likes of Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum over the next two days. Both of these teams have been streaky ones and they rarely alternate wins and losses. When they do win and lose, they often have a few wins or losses in a row and tonight we expect to see the Angels build on last night's victory and clinch another one while the 'Stros should suffer a 2nd straight defeat.

The pitching matchup favors Matt Shoemaker in our opinion. Shoemaker is not getting the credit he deserves in recent weeks because his team has not provided him with enough run support. He's been nothing short of dominant in his last 7 starts however and has severely limited 'walks' in that span, while striking out many. He kept this same lineup at bay for 7.1 innings last Wednesday and was unfortunate to come away with the loss. It's worth noting that in two starts against Houston this season, his ERA is 2.87!

The revenge angle is a factor here as well. Mike Scioscia's side is no doubt motivated to get one over these Astros. That's because they were swept in their visit to Houston last week and are 1-5 overall against AJ Hinch's squad this season! Look for them to give everything they have to secure a 'W' against their division rivals, knowing that the one win they do have against Houston this season came with Matt Shoemaker on the mound. George Springer and Luis Valbuena are good hitters but they have just 1 hit in 10 previous at-bats against the bearded right-hander and will have their work cut out for them! For LA, Calhoun, Trout and Pujols have all had great success against McHugh and follow each other in the lineup batting 1st to 3rd so Collin McHugh doesn't really have the luxury of working around any of them to 'pick his battles'. Look for the Halos to exact revenge and open the series with a win at Angel stadium.

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