Astros at Indians Picks
By Mike Rose
A possible ALCS showdown is set to go down on FOX Saturday night when the American League behemoth Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians lock horns in the third game of their extended weekend series. A doozy of a pitching rematch is set to go down with Lance McCullers Jr. set to square off against Carlos Carrasco. The righties went at one another last Sunday night in a game the Astros pulled out by a 3-1 final count. Runs could be tough to come by in this one as well.
Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians
Date and Time: Saturday, April 26, 2018, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Carlos Carrasco
Astros at Indians TV Coverage: FOX
The Astros are one of four teams in all of baseball to have amassed 30+ wins at this point of the season. A.J. Hinch and his staff have done a tremendous job keeping their club level headed so as to not suffer a World Series hangover like many other clubs did before them. Especially with the pennant the first in franchise history.
Houston entered Thursday’s series opener winners of five straight series since dropping two of three to the them smoking hot Arizona Diamondbacks at the beginning of May. The club has gotten to this point by way of owning the best pitching staff in the game that’s backed by an offense that ranks top 10 in runs scored per game ( 4.7 ), batting average ( .256 ) and OPS ( .740 ). Even with the team favored heavily in just about every game, it’s still managed to produce $91 in baseball betting profit!
This season has been a struggle for the Tribe. Terry Francona’s squad did however just secure its first series win in three tries by going into Wrigley Field and taking two straight from the feast or famine Cubs. Maybe the feel good wins will propel this team into playing like the team many envisioned at the outset of the season. Regardless, Cleveland only sits a single game over .500 for the season which has seen them cost baseball bettors nearly $1K of their bankrolls.
The issue has been an offense that doesn’t hit for average ( .247 ) and a defense that’s committed a whopping 29 errors ( No. 18 ). On top of that, the bullpen has been a disgrace with it collectively pitching to an ugly 5.65 ERA. However, Andrew Miller looks to be healthy now and he just came up with his biggest hold to date keeping Chicago scoreless in the 8th inning even though they had runners on first and third with no outs. Him pulling through there could get their beleaguered unit back on track.
Lance McCullers Jr. –McCullers was lights out against the Tribe last time out in Houston. He limited Edwin Encarnacion and company to just one hit and no earned runs through seven innings to log his team-leading sixth win of the season. He also registered 8 Ks! Though Houston has won four of his six road starts, his ERA jumps up to 4.36 as opposed to a nifty 1.73 when at home. He’s 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA and .045 BAA lifetime against Cleveland, but got lit up in his only career start at Progressive Field.
Carlos Carrasco –Carrasco was the tough-luck loser in last Sunday night’s matchup with the Astros. Cleveland’s No. 2 arm tossed 7.2 innings of 3 ER ball to log a third straight quality start. He also tallied 6 Ks and enters start No. 11 with a 63:14 K/BB ratio. Cleveland has split his four home starts where he’s thrown to an unsightly 5.01 ERA and .250 BAA. That said, he’s 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and .285 BAA in six career starts against the Astros.
Astros at Indians Picks
You can have your NBA and NHL Playoffs. I simply can’t wait to take this installment of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball in after getting a taste of this exact pitching matchup only a short week ago. We were all over the home team last Sunday, and that will once again be the case in this revenge bout. Carrasco’s home/away splits are a bit disturbing, but so too are McCullers. I honestly foresee the Tribe blowing him up this time around, and because of it, I’ll be laying the price with Cleveland the baseball betting lines at the top-5 online sportsbooks on both the moneyline and run-line. Look for Carrasco to go deep and get plenty of run support to allow Miller and Cody Reed to seal the deal.
MLB Pick: Bet the Indians at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: Cleveland 9 – Houston 2