We call guys like Clay Kershaw "stoppers" because they put a stop to losing streaks. The Dodgers, losers of four in a row, could use his expertise Sunday afternoon when they go against the Houston Astros.
Sunday's MLB Odds for Dodgers-Astros
As of this writing the best price we could find on LA with Clay Kershaw was the -164 offered at BetOnline, while Houston with Lance McCullers was getting +158 at 5Dimes. And every book on our MLB odds board posted a total of 6.5 runs.
Houston has taken the first two games of this series, beating Zack Greinke Saturday 3-1. So the Astros have won four of their last five games, while Los Angeles has now lost four games in a row.
At 68-56 Houston leads the AL West by four games over second-place Texas.
At 67-55 Los Angeles leads the NL West by a game and a half over second-place San Francisco.
McCullers (5-4, 3.17) will be making his first start for the Big Club in three weeks, after doing a stint resting down in the Minors. The rookie is six-for-14 on quality starts this season, and “earned” his demotion when he gave up six runs against Texas without getting out of the first inning back on Aug. 3. However, over his six starts previous to that he had allowed a total of 10 runs through 36 innings. On the season McCullers has allowed 65 hits through 77 innings, walked 28 and struck out 79.
Houston is 6-8 in McCullers' starts, with the OVERS going 6-5.
This will be McCullers' first-ever start against Los Angeles.
Kershaw (10-6, 2.34) is 18-for-24 on quality starts, and nine for his last 10. Tuesday he held Oakland to one run through seven innings, although his bullpen blew that game, and just before that he tossed eight innings of shutout ball against Washington. For the season Kershaw has allowed just 124 hits through 169 innings, walked 32 and struck out an NL-high 212.
The Dodgers are 13-11 in Kershaw's starts, with the UNDERS going 13-10.
This will be Kershaw's first start against Houston since 2012.
Sunday's Batting Splits
Los Angeles ranks 18th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .251 team batting average, but second with a .326 team on-base percentage.
Houston, on the other hand, ranks 23rd against left-handed pitching with a .240 team BA and 16th with a .314 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Minute Maid Park this season are 35-28 on the UNDERS, averaging 7.7 runs per.
Dodgers-Astros Sunday Free Picks
Batting against Kershaw is tough enough, but most Houston hitters have little or no experience against him, which will just makes things even tougher. We like LA today, with MLB picks on the run line. Also, we can't help but think runs might be hard to come by today, so we're thinking UNDER.
MLB Picks: Dodgers +104 on the run line at Pinnacle and UNDER 6.5 runs (+107)