Both pitchers in the matchup are in fine form coming into this game, and the run total available shows it. With that total looking pretty sharp, our MLB Handicapper analyzes the other lines available to make his Tuesday MLB Pick.
Astros vs. Giants MLB Odds
The Giants must be thankful to be home after a disastrous series in Chicago, as the team they were neck and neck with in the NL Wild Card standings swept them over four games. The visiting Astros haven’t had a good stretch either, losing six of their last seven games to AL West Division foes. So, some team is going to turn it around here at AT&T, we just don’t know which one. The Giants have to like their chances with Madison Bumgarner on the mound, and the odds suggest the same, with the Giants opening as money line favorites at -140 at Bovada. Not to be outdone, the Astros have new pitcher Scott Kazmir on the mound that happens to be red hot. The recent form of both pitchers is why the O/U total opened at 6 runs at multiple books.
Giants & Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner appears to be back to his old ways, and I’m not talking about pitching. Ya, I mean a 12-6 record, 3.28 ERA, 148/26 K/BB ratio, 1.10 WHIP, and 2.42 BAA is pretty cool and all, but Bumgarner is a magician with the bat. Already contributing 0.7 WAR with his offensive prowess, Bumgarner could be on pace for his best season at the plate, although he posted a 1.3 WAR on offense last year. Simply put, Bumgarner’s stats are about that of the next 3 best NL pitchers combined. He goes yard at an impressive clip given the low amount of AB’s that he gets over a season. If one were to extrapolate his statistics over a full season and 600 AB’s, Bumgarner would be a 25-30 HR guy with over 80 RBI. It’s a distinct advantage to have Bumgarner in the lineup in the NL, and even more so when an AL team visits their stadium with a pitcher who hasn’t batted in ages.
Astros & Kazmir
Speaking of which, Scott Kazmir has had 3 hits over the last ten years. Good thing he is an excellent pitcher. Although he has gone from Oakland to Houston in the last month, Kazmir led teams have won 7 of their last 10 games. He doesn’t have much to show for it though as he has only garnered 4 winning decisions over that time period. Kazmir has been downright magical since July 2nd, as he has given up only 2 ER in 39.2 IP. It’s one of the reasons that he is holding a 2.08 ERA right now on the season which is good for 2nd in the MLB behind Zack Greinke.
Baseball Betting Verdict
Get ready to eat some chalk here, as the best play here is currently sitting at -197. With this matchup being pitching heavy, I believe the low total of 6 is completely warranted. I mean, Scott Kazmir hasn’t given up more than 3 ER in a game since May 11th. And if you want to tail the under, I wouldn’t blame you. However, I’m looking at what Scott Kazmir’s record would be if he were spotted a run and a half, as he is here in this game. Kazmir led teams have not lost a game by more than one run since June 5th, and yes, the majority of that tie was with a inferior Athletics team. His teams would be 14-6 in his starts instead of 10-10. 14-6 is good enough for me, and must be for sharp bettors, as the run line backing the Astros has moved from -188 to -197 at Heritage; against the grain of 88% consensus for the Giants on SBR Odds. Take Houston to keep it close on Tuesday night for your MLB pick.
The MLB Pick: Astros +1.5 -195 at BetOnline