Houston Astros (64-42) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (64-43)
It is the opening contest of a two-game set between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros on Tuesday. Houston enters this contest on the heels of a 5-3 loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Los Angeles crushed the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, 13-0. Both teams were off on Monday.
The Dodgers enter this contest as the favorite at -156 with the odds set for Houston at +135. Houston earned the victory the last time these teams met, beating Los Angeles 5-2 on May 26. However, the Dodgers have won five of the last seven meetings between these teams. These teams are 1-1 this season.
Astros Fall in San FranciscoThe Houston Astros jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, but watched San Francisco score 5 unanswered runs, as they lost to the Giants, 5-3. Yuli Gurriel gave his team the lead with a two-run homer in the first inning, his 12th of the year. However, Luis Garcia could not hold the lead, giving up five runs in 4.2 innings to take the loss.
Houston is first in runs per game at 5.47 and is 10th in runs allowed per game at 4.07. They are second in run differential at +1.41. The team is first in batting average (.267) and sixth in home runs per game at 1.32.
The Astros will start right-hander Lance McCullers, who was 8-2 with a 3.23 ERA in 17 starts. McCullers had a solid July, posting a 3.86 ERA in five starts. However, he did allow four runs in each of his last two starts, a span of 11 total innings. He had allowed three runs or less in 14 of his first 15 starts the season.
José Altuve leads the Astros with 25 homers and is third with 65 RBI. Kyle Tucker is second with 20 homers and also has over 60 RBI. Four players on this Astros roster have driven in at least 64 runs. Houston will be without Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman. The team will also be without five of their relief pitchers as well as three starting pitchers.
Urias, Dodgers Crush DiamondbacksJulio Urias tossed five shutout innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers blew out the Arizona Diamondbacks, 13-0. Three relievers combined with Urias to toss the four hits shutout, striking out 12. Justin Turner provided more than enough offense, hitting his 20th home run of the season while driving in four. Mookie Betts also went deep for the Dodgers, his 15th home run of the season.
Justin Turner - Los Angeles Dodgers (20) pic.twitter.com/DDVyDSh9KD— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 1, 2021
Los Angeles is second in runs per game (5.23) and in runs allowed per contest (3.69). They are first and run differential at +1.54. The team is ninth in team batting average of .246 and fifth and home runs per game at 1.37.
Walker Buehler will get the start for Los Angeles. The right-hander is 11-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 21 starts. Buehler was named the Pitcher of the Month for July in the National League after going 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five starts. He allowed 20 hits and just six earned runs in 32.1 innings, while striking out 38. The right-hander has allowed three total runs in his last 27.1 innings pitched.
The Dodgers are led by Max Muncy with 22 homers. Turner is second with 20 and leads the team with 65 runs driven in. Turner is hitting .297. Los Angeles will be without Edwin Rios and Trea Turner. However, they have a number of injuries to the pitching staff, with five relievers and five starters out.
- 1-5 in their last six games as the underdog.
- 1-5 in their last six interleague games on the road.
- 1-5 in their last six interleague games on the road against the right-handed starter.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
- 117-50 in their last 167 games at home.
- 25-10 in their last 35 games against AL West opponents.
- 41-15 in their last 56 games following a day off.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This game is going to be all about starting pitching. McCullers has struggled a little bit for Houston of late, allowing four runs in each of his last two starts, and he will face an extremely formidable lineup in the Dodgers. So, it would not be surprising to see him give up four runs in this game as well.
That is likely to be three more than he can allow for them to be Los Angeles. Buehler has been spectacular of late, and he will clearly be the difference in this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect Buehler to give up no more than one run in this game. I also think Los Angeles is not going to give up more than a couple of runs overall. Buehler has gone at least seven innings in each of his last three outings. He is facing a very good Astros offense, but shut down San Francisco in each of his last two starts and held the Rockies to two runs in seven innings in Colorado. So, the competition is not a problem for him.
I expect McCullers to give up four runs to the Dodgers, but Houston did not give up more than one more run after that. For that reason, the under looks like a smart pick.
Take Los Angeles to win, 5-2.