Are the Houston Astros back on track? The defending World Series champions have been running hot and cold this year, but they have won three of their last five, and they’ve got a relatively easy matchup this week versus the St. Louis Cardinals.
It’s a great spot for Houston as far as the OddsTrader computers are concerned. This is the tastiest baseball pick on Tuesday’s busy schedule, and we’ve got two more tasty matchups that you might want to invest in.
- Astros ML (-116) at SBK
- Pirates +1.5 (-110) at Bet365
- Marlins-Red Sox Over 9 (-120) at Caesars Sportsbook
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 – 07:45 PM EDT at Busch Stadium
Before we get to Houston (42-36 SU, minus-5.25 betting units at press time), let’s not overlook the recent winning burst for the Cardinals (32-45 SU, minus-15.83 units). They’ve won five of their last seven, although that included two of three as road faves versus the Washington Nationals.
That road trip also took St. Louis all the way across the pond to London, England, where they split a pair of games with the Chicago Cubs. Tuesday is their first game back; the Astros had Monday off after dropping two of three to the L.A. Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
Factoring in that extra travel might be a bit of a challenge for the OT computers. Challenge accepted: They’ve got Houston winning 4.3 runs to 4.2. That’s a tiny margin to be betting on Houston at -116 betting odds, but there’s a good chance the ‘Stros will make it even harder for St. Louis to drive in some runs this Tuesday.
That’s because Framber Valdez (2.27 ERA, 2.82 xFIP) is starting for Houston. Granted, Valdez is actually down 0.04 units this year on a team record of 9-6, but the defending champs have won seven of his last eight starts as they climb back into Wild Card contention in the American League.
It’s not official yet at press time as per MLB.com, but Jordan Montgomery (3.69 ERA, 3.86 xFIP) is due up for the Cardinals, so both teams could presumably have their aces on the mound. However, current Houston batters have a .710 combined OPS off Montgomery; the only St. Louis hitters ever to face Valdez are Nolan Arenado (0-for-3) and Oscar Mercado (one single in six at-bats).
Combine that with Houston’s superior bullpen – No. 8 on the FanGraphs WAR charts, three spots ahead of the Cards – and we’re willing to recommend a single-unit wager on the Astros at -116 or longer.
MLB Pick: Astros ML (-116) at SBK
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 – 07:05 PM EDT at PNC Park
We’re switching to the run line for Tuesday’s tilt between the Padres (37-41 ATS, minus-5.19 units) and the Pirates (36-41 ATS, minus-10.23 units). That’s because the OT computers have San Diego winning 5.1 runs to 3.9.
Have the computers overestimated San Diego in this contest? Maybe not; Rich Hill (4.34 ERA, 4.52 xFIP) is scheduled to start for Pittsburgh, and the Pirates have dropped six of his last nine starts SU; two of those losses were by a single run, though.
Yu Darvish (4.84 ERA, 3.72 xFIP) is due up for the Padres, so we have even less reason to believe the computers have erred with their projection – but we’re going to recommend making this a slight lean and a token bet size on Pittsburgh, just in case.
MLB Pick: Pirates +1.5 (-110) at Bet365
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park
Baseball totals used to have so much value before computer analysis came along, but this particular matchup still has some legs. It’s another chance to make hay at Fenway Park, where the Over is 24-15 for Boston this year compared to 19-20-1 on the road.
Supplying the opposition: the Marlins, who have split their road totals at 19-19 while driving the Under to a 22-16-3 record at home. The OT computers have each team scoring 4.6 runs in regulation, so the threat of extra innings is a good sign we should put Over 9 in our picks.
It also helps that Sandy Alcantara (5.08 ERA, 4.18 xFIP) is throwing for Miami, even though his struggles aren’t as epic as his inflated ERA would suggest. The Over is 10-5 this year with Alcantara on the hill.
Meanwhile, Garrett Whitlock (4.50 ERA, 3.92 xFIP) has the Under at 5-4 for Boston, including 3-1 at home, so maybe we should make this a smaller wager as well, especially with that -120 juice and 80% chance of rain in the forecast. Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken.
MLB Pick: Over 9 (-120) at Caesars Sportsbook