Astros vs. Indians, 05/19/17 - Prediction

Game Snapshot

#974 Houston Astros
vs.
#973 Cleveland Indians

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Cleveland Indians (20-19) vs. Houston Astros (29-12)

MLB Baseball:  Friday, May 19th, 8:10 pm EST

Trevor Bauer (3-4, 6.92 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (5-2, 3.97 ERA)

Line:  Houston -125/Cleveland +115

Total: 8.5

The Indians head to Houston to take on the best team in  baseball, the Houston Astros.  While the Indians have been a letdown so far this year after making the World Series last year, the Astros have been hot from game one on.  They are actually playing their best baseball of the year at the moment, having won four in a row, nine out of 10, and 14 out of 17.  They lead the AL West by eight games over the Rangers, who have won eight in a row themselves.

The Indians should be thanking their lucky stars that they are not in the same division as the Astros.  Instead, they are in the ultra week AL Central, where even at 20-19, the Indians are in second place and only game out of the lead of the Minnesota Twins, who don’t scare anybody.

Indians turn to Bauer

The Indians win a few, and then lose a few.  One step forward and two steps back.  That’s how the season has been so far for the defending AL champion Indians.  Luckily, they are in a weak division and they still have to be considered the odds-on favorite to easily win the division.  They have lost two in a row and five of seven coming into the Astros series.

On the mound will be Trevor Bauer, who is extremely lucky to have a record of 3-4.  His ERA is 6.92 and anyone who can only be one game under .500 with an ERA like that should be happy.  He has given up two earned runs or more in every start, three earned or more in six of seven, and four earned runs or more in five of seven starts.

Morton goes for the Astros

While fellow Astro starter Dallas Keuchel is currently running away with the Cy Young award, Charlie Morton has been very solid in his own right, winning five games already this year.  He does have two losses, but with a solid ERA of 3.97 and an explosive offense behind him, he has the chance to win 15 games and possibly more.

He won his latest, while not pitching his best as he gave up four earned runs over 5.2 innings, but the offense saved him in an 11-7 win over the Astros.  His offense has been fantastic for him on the year, putting up an absurd 37 runs over his last four starts, which is more than nine runs per game.  He has won all four of those starts, despite giving up four earned runs in two of them.  Guess it doesn’t matter when your team is putting up 9+.

MLB Trends:

The Cleveland Indians are:

  • 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
  • 1-6 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series.

The Houston Astros are:

  • 7-1 in their last 8 games following a win.
  • 10-1 in their last 11 during game 1 of a series.
  • 5-0 in their last 5 Friday games.

The Astros are the better team and have the pitching advantage so I was leaning towards them anyhow.  Throw in the fact that they are 10-1 in their last 11 to start a series, while the Indians are 1-6, and this game becomes easy.

Pick: Houston

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.