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MLB Astros at Angels

June 18, 2007

MLB Baseball - Houston Astros at L.A. Angels (-215, 7Ĺ) 10:00 EST

Vladimir Guerrero of the AngelsWith over forty percent of the baseball season in the rearview mirror, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have exceeded expectations by defeating crosstown rival the Dodgers on Sunday, taking the series two games to one.

This completed a nine-game interleague road trip by the Angels, which gave them a 6-3 record and further enhanced there positioning as one of the best bets in baseball this season.

Now Mike Scioscias club makes the short trip back to Anaheim, (In terms of miles, not time) to prepare for a delightful nine game homestand against three teams that all have losing records.

Starting today Houston, Pittsburgh and Kansas City will all visit the Big A, where the Halos are a heavenly and baseball best 24-9, good for +9.4 units.

One of the problems with last yearís Los Angeles team was a lack of hitting, finishing a prosaic 17th overall in runs scored. Gary Mathews Jr. was given a Disney-like contract to patrol centerfield and add punch to the batting order.

Mathews for the most part has done a pretty good job batting .282, being second on the team in runs batted in and delivering seven game winning hits. While Mathews has been a solid addition, others in the lineup are an even bigger reason why L.A. is 5th in the majors in runs scored. Orlando Cabrera is sixth in the American League in hitting and leads the team in doubles.

Besides Cabrera being such a factor, first baseman Casey Kotchman has been an unexpected surprise, batting .333, with a slugging percentage over .400. With protection around him in the order, Vlade Guerrero is having an MVP type year.

Be it for Alex Rodriquez monster season thus far, Guerrero would be the talk of baseball, with .329, batting average, 61 RBIís and .432 on base percentage.

Another area of improvement has been the fielding for Los Angeles. Last season they made the 27th most errors in baseball and are now in the middle of the pack, saving runs as opposed to giving them away.

The Angels starting pitching has been downright fantastic, with the main five starters combining for 35 wins and +13.2 units of profit in 2007. John Lackey is the ALís first 10-game winner and rest of the staff with Bartolo Colon, Kelvim Escobar and Jered Weaver continue to shine.

On this homestand, seven of the nine contests will be played under the lights, which suits the Angels just fine, as they are 30-14, +12.2 units. Dominate teams win big and this is the mark of this L.A. club. In games decided by two or more runs they are 37-19.

Unless they have a possible bad pitching match-up or two, the Halos should be favored in nearly every home game on the stand and are 35-15 this season when the betting choice.

Playing Los Angeles may cost a little more these days playing three teams with a combined 41-57 road record at present (41.8%), yet based on the results, hard to not back this squad that is playing so well and adding serious cash to backers.

Check the Live Odds page at for all the latest sides and totals numbers on the Angels and other games on the board this Monday.

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