MLB Betting: Starting Pitching Mismatch Prompts Astros Run Line Pick Over Tigers

Astros vs Tigers

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, July 31, 2016 1:53 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapping professional previews Sunday’s game between Detroit and Houston. Join us in reading this compelling betting article culminated with a MLB pick.

Astros (Keuchel) vs Tigers (Pelfrey) 1:10 PM ET
The Astros and Tigers conclude a three-game series at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sunday. Detroit has taken the first two games of this series, prevailing 14-6 on Friday, and scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the 9th last night for a 3-2 come from behind win. These two American League teams have played each other relatively even since 2014, demonstrated by Detroit going 10-9 during those nineteen meetings.

 

Surging Tigers
By virtue of their win last night, Detroit enters today riding a 5-game winning streak. The Tigers are presently 2nd in the AL Central, and trail division-leading Cleveland by 4.5 games. They’ve also closed to within 1.0 game of Boston for the final American League wild card spot. Detroit is a solid 28-19 (.596) at Comerica Park and has gone a mediocre 15-14 when playing day games in 2016.

 

Astros Look to Rebound
Houston has now lost four of its previous five games. Losing is never acceptable, but last night’s defeat was of a gut-wrenching variety. Houston overcame a 1-0 deficit by scoring 2 runs in the top of the 9th, only to squander the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Nevertheless, the Astros are a very good 21-14 (.600) in day games this season and have gone 41-29 (.586) when facing a right-handed starting pitcher like they’ll be doing on Sunday.

 

Starting Pitching Mismatch
Dallas Keuchel has exhibited stellar form over his last five starts, posting a 2.46 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and allowed 2 earned runs or less in each of those outings. Since 2015, Keuchel is 12-4 in his team starts after allowing 2 earned runs or less in each of his prior two appearances, and Houston had a massive +3.5 run per game differential throughout the course of those sixteen games. Last but not least, since 2014, Keuchel has an excellent 1.19 ERA in three starts against Detroit, and Houston won on each of those occasions.

Mike Pelfrey enters today’s scheduled appearance in terrible form over his last three starts, proven by a large 8.25 ERA, and a mammoth 2.08 WHIP through that time period. The veteran hurler has also struggled at home this year, verified by his 7.86 ERA and 1.93 WHIP in nine starts. Since 2015, Detroit is 0-3 versus Houston when Pelfrey is their starting pitcher, and that lack of success coincides with his cumulative 7.90 ERA during those outings.

 

Run Line Betting Angle

  • Current MLB odds at Matchbook.com has Houston at -1.5 (+108) on the run line
  • Houston enters today with a .246 team batting average for the year
  • Mike Pelfrey has a 5.52 ERA through twenty starts this season

Any run line favorite of +135 to -190 that’s playing on a Sunday, possessing a team batting average of .260 or less, and is facing an American League starting pitcher (Pelfrey) with an ERA of 4.70 to 5.70, resulted in those run line favorites going 40-15 (72.7%) since 1997. That’s enough to solidify one of my Sunday MLB picks.

 

Free MLB Pick: Houston -1.5 (+118)
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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