No question that the marquee series of the early week in baseball is a potential World Series preview between the Dodgers and Astros from Houston. The Astros beat the Dodgers in the 2017 Fall Classic but are MLB betting underdogs for Tuesday’s opener.
Dodgers vs Astros – MLB Odds & PicksHow to Bet Dodgers at Astros MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 9:10 PM ET
- Where: Minute Maid Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Walker Buehler/Framber Valdez
- TV: MLB Extra Innings, Fox Sports 1
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Dodgers -155, Astros +145 (total 9)
The Dodgers enter on a two-game losing streak following Sunday’s 3-1 home loss to the Giants. In the ninth on Sunday, Los Angeles had the potential tying run at the plate when Trevor Gott struck out Max Muncy to earn saves in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Los Angeles managed just five runs over the final two games of the series.
Dodgers pitcher David Price opted-out of this season and ripped MLB on Monday via tweet when it was revealed that several members of the Miami Marlins had tested positive for the coronavirus: “Now we REALLY get to see if MLB is going to put players health first. Remember when Manfred said players health was PARAMOUNT?! Part of the reason I’m at home right now is because players health wasn’t being put first. I can see that hasn’t changed.”
Since joining the league in 2017, Cody Bellinger has tallied 111 homers, second most in the National League behind only Nolan Arenado (116). His 111 homers over the past three seasons are second most in franchise history in the first three seasons with the club (Shawn Green hit 115 homers from 2000 through 2002).
It’s young All-Star right-hander Walker Buehler on the mound in his 2020 debut. HE did not pitch in an official “Summer Camp” game and as 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA (3 ER/8.1 IP) in three Cactus League starts. Last year, Buehler went 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA (58 ER/159.1 IP), striking out 215 batters while limiting hitters to a .223 average and posting a 1.04 WHIP.
Buehler, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015, said he threw less than his staff mates during the coronavirus shutdown because of the uncertainty over when camp would resume. He believes he’s only “an inning or two behind” the other Dodgers starters. Buehler wouldn’t speculate how many innings he would pitch in his first start.
Buehler has made just one career appearance against the Astros, picking up the win on Aug. 5, 2018 at Dodger Stadium (5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K)Why Bet on Houston?
Houston had to play Monday night vs. Seattle. In Sunday’s game vs. the Mariners, the Astros had their 27-game streak of hitting at least one home run snapped. That ended up tied as the second-longest streak in Major League history (also the 2002 Rangers) and trailed only a 31-game streak posted by the 2019 Yankees.
Before Monday’s game, the team recalled RHP Nivaldo Rodriguez from their alternate training site. Rodriguez was added to the Astros’ 40-man roster this past offseason after posting a 2.40 ERA and 114/35 K/BB ratio over 105 innings between Low-A and High-A ball last season.
Infielder Aledmys Diaz suffered a groin strain over the weekend and remains out. Also out is DH and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez. The team is simply saying he’s out for undisclosed reasons, which likely means he tested positive for COVID-19. He slashed .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs and 78 RBI over his first 87 major league games last season.
It’s young right-hander Framber Valdez on the mound. Valdez went 4-7 with a 5.86 ERA in 26 games (eight starts) for the Astros last year after making his Major League debut in 2018 and going 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA in eight games (five starts).
Valdez has pitched extensively out of the bullpen and in the rotation for Houston over the last 2 seasons. In 13 starts during that time, he has gone 4-5 with a 5.25 ERA (35ER/60IP) and 59 strikeouts. Valdez owns a career 64.9% groundball rate, which ranks as the 3rd-best mark among MLB pitchers with at least 100.0 innings pitched over the last 2 seasons. That trails only Zack Britton (75.8%) and TJ McFarland (65%).Expert PredictionDodgers 6, Astros 4