An intense American League showdown will be in the works as the Houston Astros battle it out with the Cleveland Guardians on the diamond. Let's check out our MLB odds series where our Astros-Guardians prediction and pick will be revealed.
Dealing with adversity for the first time this season, yesterday's loss to the Guardians in the 14th inning was the fourth consecutive defeat for Houston, which is the longest losing skid of the season for the Astros. Nevertheless, Houston is still 36-28 and sitting in the second-place spot in the AL West. Getting the start for this Saturday showdown is J.P. France who is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA.
Despite the Guardians being three games under .500, Cleveland, remarkably, is only 1.5 games behind the division lead in the AL Central. Not to mention, but the Guardians have been stringing together some wins as of late with five victories over the course of their last six contests. On the mound in this one for Cleveland will be Triston McKenzie as he will be making only his second start of the season.
Here are the Astros-Guardians MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Astros-Guardians Odds
Houston Astros: +1.5 (-170)
Cleveland Guardians: -1.5 (+140)
Over: 8 (-106)
Under: 8 (-114)
How To Watch Astros vs. Guardians
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Time: 6:10 ET/3:10 PT
*Watch MLB games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Astros Could Cover The Spread
Despite their recent struggles and the recent absence of Yordan Alvarez due to an oblique injury, the Astros still have plenty of reasons why they could cover the spread.
To begin, Houston must find a way to replace Alvarez' monstrous numbers. Currently, Alvarez is embarking on a career-year in which he leads the majors with runs-batted-in, with a total of 55. In addition, Alvarez has belted 17 home runs as well and will be a tough bat to replace within the heart of the Astros lineup.
In order to not miss a beat, be on the lookout for guys like Jose Abreu to step up their game in a big way. After his illustrious career during his time with the Chicago White Sox, Abreu has struggled mightily in his first year as an Astro with a .219 batting average through 62 games. A year ago, Abreu raked a solid .302 in his last season in the Windy City- and the 36-year-old first-baseman desperately needs to return to that form, especially in Alvarez' absence.
Above all else, even if the Astros offense comes out in lackluster fashion, they can rely on a pitching staff that remains near the top of baseball's best. In fact, Houston boasts the lowest ERA in the entire league at 3.29. J.P. France has dialed up back-to-back quality starts and seems to be trending towards his best play of the year. After the Guardians scored a whopping ten runs last night, it may take someone like France to restore order among the Astros pitching staff.
Why The Guardians Could Cover The Spread
On the other side of things, there is no doubt that the Guardians are feeling good about themselves after experiencing an offensive explosion at the plate that resulted in 10 runs on 14 hits. Believe it or not, Cleveland's offense has been absolutely humming in their last two games combined, as they also tormented the Boston Red Sox in the game prior with another ten-run outing.
Not only will a stupendous offensive showing certainly get the job done once again on Saturday, but another scorching hot performance at the plate by third-baseman Jose Ramirez would definitely take care of business as well. On paper, Ramirez is officially on a hot streak by going 6-for-9 with an absurd four homers, a double, and six RBIs over his past two games. If anything is going to cover the spread for the Guardians, then look no further than Ramirez to crush the baseball.
Most importantly, it will certainly be intriguing to see how effective Triston McKenzie is with not a whole lot of mileage during this season. Like previously mentioned, McKenzie may not be able to pitch extremely deep into this game simply because of the Guardians being extra cautious with the 25-year-old fresh off of recovering from a muscle strain. However, if McKenzie proves that he is in a rhythm from the opening frame, then the Guardians will be in fairly good shape as the game progresses.
Final Astros-Guardians Prediction & Pick
Despite the Astros losing four in a row, Houston is too good of a squad to let this winning-less skid continue any longer. Hammer the Astros to cover the spread and don't second guess it!
Final Astros-Guardians Prediction & Pick: Astros +1.5 (-170)