So, how do you follow up a no-hitter by Mike Fiers of the Astros? Well, look for a sneaky ‘over’ with a low posted total when Houston hosts the Dodgers again Saturday night.
Following a no-hitter last night, look for more runs and a sneaky ‘over’ with this low posted total Saturday night even with a Cy Young candidate on the mound when right-hander Zack Greinke and those Los Angeles Dodgers (67-54, 25-34 away) pay a visit to southpaw Scott Kazmir and the Houston Astros (67-56, 43-21 home) in the second game of a three-game interleague series between division leaders from Minute Maid Park in Houston TX at 7:10 ET on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -117.
Fiers Makes History
Mike Fires was acquired by the Astros just before the trading deadline, and he made history by no-hitting the Dodgers last night, marking the first no-hitter in the 13-year history of Minute Maid Park and the first Complete Game of his career.
More importantly from a team perspective however, the Astros have now opened up a 3½-game lead on the second place Los Angeles Angels in the American League West, showing nice resiliency by coming back after losing the division lead the last day before the All-Star break.
The Dodgers still lead the National League West by 1½ games over the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants in second, even though Los Angeles has now been the losing MLB pick in six straight road games, not winning away from Dodger Stadium since beating the Phillies in Philadelphia back on August 6th in a game started by tonight’s starter Greinke.
Greinke in Cy Young Award Conversation
The Dodgers have not one but two Cy Young Award candidates in Clayton Kershaw and Greinke, who is now a dazzling 13-2 with a miniscule 1.58 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with 150 strikeouts vs. 29 walks in 165.1 innings. Greinke has bounced back well from his worst start of the year in that last Dodgers’ road win in Philadelphia when he allowed six runs in six innings, as he has allowed just one run in 13 innings with 14 strikeouts vs. two walks in two starts since.
Those last two outings were at home though, although Greinke seems to have overcome the social anxiety issues he has had in the past that left him with some of the more severe home vs. away splits you will ever see. His numbers are much more stable this year regardless of the venue, and his Cy Young-type numbers have been the end result.
Still, a low posted total like this one usually requires both pitchers to pitch well, and although Kazmir has a 2.43 ERA and 1.12 WHIP despite his 6-8 record, we feel that those key stats are a but fraudulent and that being close to a .500 pitcher is a better indicator of his true ability.
After all, Kazmir has gotten lucky by yielding just a cumulative .259 BABIP at his two stops this year in Oakland and Houston, as he actually owns a 3.43 FIP and 3.78 xFIP, both of which are considerably higher that the ERA, which is usually a sign of imminent regression.
And well, that regression may already be in progress as Kazmir was roughed up for six earned runs on nine hits plus three walks in just 5.1 innings by the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start on Monday, and furthermore he was touched up for five earned runs in 3.2 innings in his last career start against the Dodgers.
Dodgers Going ‘over’ vs. Southpaws
Finally, the ‘over’ is now a perfect 5-0 in the Dodgers’ last five games vs. left-handed starters. Additionally, the ‘over’ is also 10-2 in the Astros’ last 12 interleague games vs. right-handed starters.
So although it is not obvious with just a quick glance at just the ERA of each starting pitcher here, it is the ‘over’ that could hold value at this low number when the Los Angeles Dodgers look to bounce back in Houston on Saturday.
MLB Pick: Dodgers, Astros ‘over’ 7 (-117)