The Los Angeles Angels bulldozed their nearest competition in the American League West over the weekend to build a comfortable division lead. The Angels look to continue extending their 4 1/2-game advantage in the West on Tuesday when they visit Houston for the first of two against the Astros. Los Angeles spent most of the season trailing Oakland, but outscored the Athletics 18-4 during a four-game sweep while holding Oakland's once-formidable offense to one run over the last three contests.
The Angels have won six in a row and stand a strong chance at increasing that streak if they continue their recent domination of the Astros, whom they have defeated in 10 of 14 meetings this season. Despite taking three of four from Texas in its last series and winning four of its last six overall, Houston announced the firing of manager Bo Porter on Monday after he led the Astros to a 110-190 mark in less than two seasons on the job. Tom Lawless, who worked in Houston's minor-league system and was the interim manager at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, will take over the job on an interim basis.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), CSN Houston
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels LH C.J. Wilson (10-8, 4.46 ERA) vs. Astros RH Brad Peacock (3-8, 5.13)
Among the major-league leaders in walks with 67 despite missing nearly a month due to a tight hip and right ankle sprain, Wilson did not factor into the decision for the second straight time in Thursday's 4-3 win over Oakland. The two-time All-Star, who allowed three runs in 5 2/3 frames, walked three and has issued 11 free passes over his last 17 1/3 innings. Wilson surrendered three homers to the Astros in a no-decision against them on July 4, but is 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 21 career appearances (11 starts) versus Houston.
Peacock remained winless in seven turns since July 8, consistently working in and out of trouble while settling for his fourth consecutive no-decision in Wednesday's 5-4 loss versus Oakland. The 26-year-old, who has allowed one earned run in consecutive outings after giving up 21 over his previous four, permitted one run on four hits and five walks over 5 1/3 innings. Peacock got the decision in a June 5 victory over the Angels and is 2-0 despite a 5.17 ERA against them in four all-time appearances (two starts).
1. Los Angeles, which will play 12 of its next 13 games against three of the four teams with the lowest winning percentages in the AL, has outscored its opponents 32-7 during its winning streak.
2. Astros 1B Chris Carter led the majors with 12 homers in August and finished one RBI behind Detroit's Victor Martinez's league-leading 30 for the month.
3. Angels SS Erick Aybar is riding a career-high 16-game hitting streak.
PREDICTION: Angels 7, Astros 4