The Houston Astros meet the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday for Game 2 of their three-game set at Chase Field.
These teams opened their series on Tuesday and were still playing as of this writing. Houston traveled to Phoenix after getting a much-needed rest on Monday. The Astros had a winning record before Tuesday’s games despite an inexperienced and injury-depleted bullpen. The Diamondbacks are struggling to start the season. They have lost their first three season series and are looking to end their slump at home.
Los Houston Astros
The Houston Astros bounced back after getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 in their recent two-game set by beating the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 in their last series. The Astros won the third and deciding game of that series, 6-5 on an 11th inning RBI by Alex Bergman. The Astros enter Tuesday’s games tied with Oakland for the early lead in the American West Division standings.
Bergman also homered while Josh Redick tied the game in the 9th with an RBI single. Pitcher Blake Taylor escaped two bases-loaded jams to secure his first Major League win in his hometown stadium last Sunday. Michael Brantley went 3-4 and he leads the Astros with a batting average of .438 while producing one home run and six RBIs. George Springer leads the team with two home runs and a total of 7 RBIs despite hitting only .182 on the season.
Lance McCullers Jr. gets the nod to start in Game 2. 26-year old right-hander is 1-0 in two starts this season with an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.80. McCullers has allowed a total of 11 hits with six runs including two home runs while striking out 10 batters and walking six hitters. He gave up four runs on six hits and four walks last Friday against the Angels.
Houston is tied for 6th overall with a total of 52 runs scored this season. They are 6th in batting average at .255, 15th in slugging percentage at .405 and #1 in the league in one base percentage at .354. Houston’s pitching staff has an ERA of 3.49 which is ranked 8th overall, a WHIP of 1.37, and a BAA of .218.
Odds from BetOnline as of 08/05/2020
The Arizona Diamondbacks have yet to win a series after playing a total of 10 games in the young season. Arizona lost to San Diego, Texas, and the L.A. Dodgers. They have a record of 3-7 and are currently at the bottom of the American West division team standings. In their last outing prior to Tuesday’s Game 1 versus the Astros, Arizona was blanked by the Dodgers after Clayton Kershaw pitched 5 ⅔ sharp innings in his season debut.
Cody Bellinger ripped a first-inning home run to the bullpen and the seven-time NL West champions looked even stronger with Mookie Betts delivering for them. Betts homered and then had a double before leaving the game with a finger injury in his left hand. Kershaw retired the first 10 Arizona hitters and the Diamondbacks produced only four hits in a total of 31 at-bats and got struck out 12 times.
Left-hander Robbie Ray will open on top of the mound for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. The 28-year old is 0-2 in two starts this season with an ERA of 8.64 and a WHIP of 2.16. Ray has allowed eight runs on nine hits with three homers while striking out 11 and walking a total of 9.
Christian Walker leads Arizona with a batting average of .314. Walker also has a total of six RBIs to lead the Diamondbacks this season. Ketel Marte has a team-high 12 hits and one home run while Kole Calhoun has two RBIs and one home run for the Diamondbacks. David Peralta has six hits and four RBIs this season. The Diamondbacks have scored just 27 runs this season and batting at .192 with an OBP of .268. Their pitching staff is averaging an ERA of 5.44 and a WHIP of 1.44 and is in the bottom five in both statistical departments.
The Astros are 5-4 SU in their last nine games played. Houston is 2-1 SU in three road games played this season. The Diamondbacks are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games played. Arizona is 2-4 SU in their last six games played away from home. Head to head, these teams have split their last 10 meetings but the Astros have won the last two.
Command has been an issue for Ray in his first two starts. The 28-year old lefty had an impressive Summer Camp but has yet to find his stride so far. He walked a career-high six batters the last time out and allowed five runs in 4 ⅔ innings against the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks are 3-14 SU in their last 17 games as underdogs while the Astros are 4-0 in their last four interleague games against a left-hander. These aren’t two standout pitchers and the Astros carry the heavier bats.
Prediction: Houston Astros (-144)
Other Bets to Make
The over is 5-2-2 in Houston’s nine games played so far this season. The total has gone over in two out of the three games played by the Astros on the road. The total has gone under in seven out of the 10 games played by the Diamondbacks this season. The under is 4-2 in their six road games played so far this year. Head to head, the under is 6-4 in the last 10 games played between the Astros and Diamondbacks but the over is 2-1 in their most recent three meetings.
Odds from BetOnline as of 08/04/2020
These teams have combined to score an average of 8.1 runs per game in their last 10 head to head meetings and 9.67 runs per game in their last three encounters. Arizona has struggled so far this season and Robbie Ray’s struggles aren’t going to help them. I can see a couple of bases-loaded situations where the Astros are going to pick-up runs. Overall, I like the value on the over.
Prediction: Over 9.5 (-105)