Back Indians to Upset MLB-Best Astros in Series Opener May 19

Willie Bee

Friday, May 19, 2017 12:43 PM UTC

Friday, May. 19, 2017 12:43 PM UTC

They’re coming off a successful road trip with a big lead in their division, and the Astros are solid favorites on the MLB odds Friday to kick off their homestand with a dubya against the Indians.

MLB Season Record: 16-27 (-12.75)

It has been a super start for the Houston Astros, who have won 11 of their first 13 series of the campaign to own the best record in the majors. They’ll get a chance to avenge one of those two series losses this weekend in front of the home fans when the Cleveland Indians come to Bayou City. The set gets underway Friday (8:10 p.m. ET) when Trevor Bauer and Charlie Morton square off on the bump, Houston going off -140 at 5Dimes with 8½ for the total.

Both teams took Thursday off in advance of this series, the Indians starting this road trip off a poor homestand in which they dropped 2 of 3 to both the Twins and Rays. The Astros just finished a 6-1 road trip through the Bronx and South Beach and open up a huge lead in the AL West.


Can ‘Stros Finally Beat Bauer?

With an ERA approaching 7.00, it won’t surprise anyone that Bauer has only two quality starts this season. Both of those came against the Twins, one of them his last time out in Cleveland on Mother’s Day, the former UCLA star working six, allowing three runs and whiffing seven without a walk. He didn’t earn a quality start at home against the Astros in April, but Bauer still pitched well enough to get the win. He’s 6-0 in six assignments vs. Houston with a sub-3.00 ERA, all of those coming since the ‘Stros joined the AL, and has not allowed a run in two starts at Minute Maid Park.

Morton pitched the nightcap at Yankee Stadium this past Sunday when the Astros spoiled Derek Jeter’s special night with a 10-7 decision. It wasn’t necessarily pretty on Morton’s part (5.2 IP, 4 ER), but the end result was a victory to leave the Astros 6-2 (+4.0 units) against the MLB odds when the veteran pitches. The ‘over’ also cashed in six of those eight assignments as Morton prepares for just his second career appearance vs. Cleveland (0-1, 4.50 ERA).


Series Info, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

One of Houston’s first interleague games was a loser against the Tribe in ’97, and the Astros have struggled facing the Indians since joining the American League. Cleveland has won 21 of 31 matchups as AL foes, and took two of three from Houston when the teams met in late April. The totals split three ways in that series, but the ‘under’ has dominated the matchups in Houston with eight of the last 10 failing to reach the marks.

Though the chance of rain isn’t all that high, I expect the roof to be shut tonight after temperatures climb toward 90 this afternoon. As my season record would attest, my opinion means very little when it comes to making a free baseball pick, but with Bauer’s record against Houston it’s an easy call to play the Tribe tonight.

Free MLB Pick: Indians +135Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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