The Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians will face off in the third of a four-game series in Cleveland on Saturday night. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes our Astros-Guardians prediction and pick we have laid out below.
The Houston Astros, at 70-38, are one of the best teams in baseball, owning a commanding 12.5-game lead in the AL West. An aggressive trade deadline ensured that Houston will make the playoffs, and may lead to a deep run come October.
The Cleveland Guardians sit at 54-52, tied for second in the AL Central, just two games out of the division lead. Despite a two-game losing streak, Cleveland is in heavy contention for the playoffs, only two and a half games out of the final Wild Card spot as well.
Here are the Astros-Guardians MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Astros-Guardians Odds
Houston Astros: -1.5 (-104)
Cleveland Guardians: +1.5 (-115)
Over: 8.5 (-120)
Under: 8.5 (-102)
Why The Astros Could Cover The Spread
Houston’s potent offense got even better with the additions of Trey Mancini and Christian Vazquez at the trade deadline. Mancini has three hits as an Astro, and all three have been home runs. Whether it was the change of scenery or leaving the newly-expansive Camden Yards, Mancini seems to be rejuvenated, bad news for the rest of the American League. Vazquez is an upgrade simply by taking at-bats from Martin Maldonado, who is known more for his defense than his career .209 batting average. Houston has launched 151 home runs, third in the league. Yordan Alvarez has accounted for 30 of those 151 and has added a .412 on-base percentage. There are landmines in spots 1-9 in this lineup, making it nearly impossible for opposing pitchers to navigate through it.
Houston will send Luis Garcia to the mound in this one. Garcia owns a 3.81 ERA in his 19 starts, striking out 112 in 106.1 innings. A lethal cutter, which batters are hitting just .151 against, is the main weapon for Garcia. On the road, Garcia has pitched to a 2.72 ERA, with 50 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. Houston’s bullpen is the best in baseball, with a 2.71 ERA, striking out 359 batters in 329 innings. Rafael Montero (1.64 ERA) and Ryne Stanek (1.21 ERA) form one of baseball’s best setup duos. Closer Ryan Pressley has been great as well, with a 3.09 ERA and 21 saves, striking out 38 in 32 innings.
Why The Guardians Could Cover The Spread
Cleveland has a very unique skill set offensively. In an age where strikeouts are common, Cleveland has the lowest total in the league, striking out just 747 times. Central in that effort is rookie outfielder Steven Kwan, who is hitting .295 with just 35 strikeouts in 346 at-bats. Even Cleveland’s leading home run hitter, Jose Ramirez, has walked more than he has struck out. Ramirez has launched 21 home runs and 34 doubles while hitting .282. As a team, Cleveland ranks fifth in the league with 195 doubles, making up for their lack of home run power. Cleveland’s .251 batting average ranks eighth in the league as well. Simply, the ability to make tons of contact without striking out is the key to Cleveland’s offensive success.
Cal Quantrill is tonight’s starting pitcher, another feather in the cap of Cleveland’s scouting and player development. Quantrill was acquired in the massive Mike Clevinger trade, pitching to a 3.33 ERA in parts of three seasons in Cleveland. This season, Quantrill has a 4.08 ERA in 20 starts. Batters have managed to hit just .188 against Quantrill’s changeup. When Cleveland has a lead at the end of games, it usually stays that way with closer Emmanuel Clase. Clase, armed with a 100+ mph cutter, has pitched to a 1.22 ERA with 23 saves in 44.1 innings.
Final Astros-Guardians Prediction & Pick
This should be a good pitching matchup, but Houston’s offense is just too good.
Final Astros-Guardians Prediction & Pick: Houston -1.5 (-104), under 8.5 (-102)