There are two very different stories going on in the American and National Leagues in the early part of the season. In the NL, we are seeing some surprise teams rise to the top, while the expected MLB Lines favorites to win it all continue to struggle their way through the first half. It’s a very different story in the AL, where the powerhouse teams are essentially doing what we expected then. Among the leaders at the top of the AL heap are the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, who are once again shaping up to be the team to beat. One of the expected challengers in the AL, the Cleveland Indians, are also on top of their division but are currently hovering around the .500 mark.
It’s a bit of an unexpected mark for them, but also very similar to the start that they made last season. These two will start a weekend series on Thursday night in Cleveland, and it’s the pro-baseball odds underdog Cleveland Indians who will be feeling the pressure, as the Minnesota Twins start to edge ever closer in the Central Division.
Houston at Cleveland MLB Lines & Game Preview
“It’s all about 2018.”
— Houston Astros (@astros) 24 de mayo de 2018
- When: Thursday, May 24 at 6:10 PM EST
- Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland
- Starting Pitchers: Charlie Morton vs. Mike Clevinger
- TV: MLBN
- Radio: Houston 850 AM / Cleveland WTAM 1100
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Lines: Houston Astros -135 (Over/Under at 8)
Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)
- Runs: Houston Astros 4.00 / Cleveland Indians 4.60
- Hits: Houston Astros 8.10 / Cleveland Indians 7.80
- Walks: Houston Astros 2.40 / Cleveland Indians 3.60
- Strike Outs: Houston Astros 9.60 / Cleveland Indians 8.10
Why Consider the MLB Lines for the Astros?
The Houston Astros have essentially picked up this season where they left off last year. They are a very healthy 31-18 on the season heading into this one, and they seem to be able to win wherever they play given that they have a sparkling 16-7 record on the road this season. Just as they were in their World Series winning season, the Astros have a ridiculously balanced team, already opening up a +107 run differential, far and away the best mark in MLB.
The offense has been stellar for the champs, but it is their pitching that is going to once again make them very tough to beat. The pitching staff is #1 in the league in just about every major category, which is what you expect to see from a team favored to win it all. Charlie Morton (6-0, 1.94 ERA) will start for the Astros.
- Runs: 4.72
- Hits: 8.54
- Walks: 3.50
- Strike Outs: 8.16
- Runs: 2.52
- Hits: 6.24
- Walks: 2.44
- Strike Outs: 10.34
Why Consider the MLB Lines for the Indians?
The Cleveland Indians entered last season looking for revenge after losing in the World Series, and while it took them some time to get rolling, they were one of the best teams in the league by the end of the season. Their early exit in the playoffs prompted many baseball fans to think that Cleveland would come out stronger to begin the season this time around, but that has not been the case.
Being the leader of the AL Central is small consolation for a team that is sitting at .500 right now, and where it not for the fact that the rest of the division is sub-par, this Indians team might well be in a spot of bother. This is a team that is too good to be struggling this badly, and things might just get worse against a Houston team that took 2 of 3 from them earlier this season. Mike Clevinger (3-1, 2.87 ERA) will get the start.
- Runs: 4.79
- Hits: 8.62
- Walks: 3.32
- Strike Outs: 8.51
- Runs: 4.19
- Hits: 8.17
- Walks: 2.55
- Strike Outs: 8.66
Latest MLB Betting Trends
- Houston is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
- Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Houston’s last 13 games
- Cleveland is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
- Cleveland is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 17 of Cleveland’s last 25 games
- Morton is 1-2 when starting against Cleveland with an ERA of 3.93 and a WHIP of 1.200
- Clevinger is 1-2 when starting against Houston with an ERA of 2.40 and a WHIP of 1.333
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is a very solid pitching match-up that we have on tap for this one, so do not be surprised to see the final score be on the low side, with Houston getting the win.
Score: Houston Astros 3 – Cleveland Indians 1