Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#961 Detroit Tigers 9 vs.
#962 Houston Astros -490
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Ricky Dimon

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The Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers will conclude a four-game series when they meet one more time at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Thursday night.

Motor City stalling

Whereas Houston has won three in a row, Detroit has lost four straight and is 2-8 in its last 10 contests following Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to the Astros. The Tigers have scored only 18 runs in their last seven games.

“There was a lot of traffic out there, and before you know it, it kind of took us out of our flow of offense because we were playing so much defense,” manager Ron Gardenhire said of Tuesday’s setback. “And that’s what normally happens.”

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (1-8, 6.66 ERA) is taking the mound for Detroit on Thursday. Zimmermann has been a disaster this season and he is not getting any better as the home stretch approaches. The 33-year-old has not delivered a quality start since June 30, three times giving up at least six runs in no more than 4.0 innings during this stretch.

Cole cooking

Houston outfielder George Springer set a franchise record with his 10th leadoff homer of the season on Tuesday, surpassing the mark he set in 2017. Jose Altuve and Martin Maldonado also went deep for the Astros.

“When we start the game with two homers that’s a great start, and George and Jose both jump-started us a bit,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “We don’t have to rely on the homer. I think that’s one of the beauties of this offense. But when we do homer everybody loves it. It’s part of our identity. It’s not our entire identity as an offense.”

Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.87 ERA) will oppose on Thursday. The right-hander is a big reason why Houston boasts arguably the most feared rotation in baseball. He has won 14 games with an ERA under 3.00 and is only heating up as the playoffs approach. Cole has delivered a ridiculous 13 quality starts in his last 14 appearances, with the lone exception missing by just a single run (four allowed in 6.0 innings of work). During this stretch, the 28-year-old has surrendered no more than one run in at least 6.0 innings on nine occasions.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Cole is 9-2 with a 2.81 ERA at home this season, making him even better at Minute Maid Park than he is on the road. Detroit is 10-44 in its last 54 against the American League West, 10-42 in its last 52 against winning opponents, 8-22 in Zimmermann’s last 30 starts, 2-5 in his last seven road starts, 1-5 in his last six starts on four days of rest, and 1-5 in its last six at Houston. The Astros are 18-8 in their last 26 against right-handed starters, 5-0 in their last five that are the fourth of a series, 43-16 in the Cole’s last 59 starts, 22-4 in his last 26 home starts, and 10-1 in the last 11 meetings between the two teams.

Prediction: Houston Astros

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Houston shortstop Carlos Correa (back) sat out one day after being injured and likely will be placed on the 10-day injured list. Zimmermann has at least been somewhat better on the road (5.52 ERA) than at home (8.18 ERA) this season. The under is 5-1-1 in the Tigers’ last seven overall, 3-1-1 in their last five on the road, and 5-1-1 in Zimmermann’s last seven starts against the American League West. It is also 3-1-1 in the Astros’ last five overall and 4-1-1 in their last six against the American League Central. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.