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Betting lines and odds for Angels at Astros on Monday

Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs the bases after hitting a homer
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs the bases after hitting the first pitch for a homer against Texas Rangers starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz (20) in the first inning at Angel Stadium on April 21.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Angels start a three-game series with the Astros at 5:10 p.m. Monday at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Angels (15-18) are in the AL West cellar, 4.5 games behind Oakland and 2.5 behind the Astros (18-16).

Oddsmakers installed the Astros as -160 home favorites. This would have been Alex Cobb’s start in the rotation, but he was placed on the 10-day injured list (blisters). Junior Guerra will start the series opener. Joe Maddon has to weigh the use of his bullpen, with five relievers used during Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Dodgers and the bullpen racked up 14 innings during the weekend.

The Astros are starting Luis Garcia (0-3, 3.28 ERA), who has pitched better than his record indicates. His WHIP is 1.01 and opponents are batting .182 against him. However, Angels backers can be encouraged because he has a 5.40 ERA against Los Angeles this season during two appearances. They chased him in the fourth inning of a 7-6 win on April 5 when Mike Trout led off the bottom of the fourth with a 417-foot homer to left and the Angels added three more singles for two earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. He took the loss in relief on April 25 after allowing one earned run in 1 2/3 innings.

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The over/under has been set high at 9.5 runs, taking into account the potential pitching matchup and overworked bullpens as the Astros also used five relievers Sunday in their 7-4 home win over the Blue Jays.

It’s too early in the season to call this a must-win series, but the Angels certainly don’t want to fall any further behind the division leaders. It doesn’t bode well for the Angels chances as oddsmakers have made the Astros -190 (with the Angels +165) to win at least two games in the series.

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