Don't forget to check out Wednesday's Daily Baseball Betting Odds & Lines Report for a breakdown of today's games!
The Orioles come into this series with a mark of 58-48 good for 3rd place in the AL East, 5.0 games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays. At the time of this writing the Orioles are hanging on to a narrow 0.5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians, and a full 1.0 game ahead of the Texas Rangers for the final wild card berth in the American League. Baltimore is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings versus Houston including 6-0 at Camden Yards. These teams played a 3-game series at Houston this season with Baltimore winning 2 of those contests. Prior to this year they haven’t met since 2008.
Baltimore sends right-hander Miguel Gonzalez to the mound. Gonzalez is 8-4 on the season with a 3.69 ERA. Gonzalez is a perfect 8-0 in his home team starts with a 3.78 ERA and a very good 1.15 WHIP. As a matter of fact going back to last season Gonzalez is an unblemished 12-0 in his last 12 home team starts. Gonzalez won his only start this season versus the Astros at Houston. In that outing Gonzalez went 7.0 innings while allowing 1 earned run on 5 hits, struck out 7, and walked only 1 in a 3-1 Baltimore win on June 6th.
The Astros counter with lefty Eric Bedard. Bedard is 3-8 with a respectable 4.28 ERA on the season. In spite of losing in his last 3 starts Bedard posted a stellar 2.20 ERA in those outings with all of those contests going under the total. However, Bedard is a miserable 1-6 on the road this year with a lofty 5.79 ERA and 1.66 WHIP.
Read today's Daily Pitching Report & Matchup Breakdowns for more info on the day's pitching matchups!
Baltimore has lost 5 of their last 6 games while scoring 3 runs or less in each of those losses. What may be of concern for Baltimore backers is the fact that their team is hitting a paltry .139 versus left-handed pitching over their last 5 games. As alarming as that anemic number may indicate it doesn’t come as a huge shocker to observers who have followed the team closely this season. Baltimore has hit .032 lower versus southpaws than right-handers on the season. The Orioles have gone under the total in their last 4 games versus a southpaw starter. Baltimore has been a very profitable 21-10 in their last 31 home games. The Orioles have also won 21 of their last 29 games versus AL West opponents.
The Astros have really set the bar high by MLB standards for futility on the road in recent years. Houston has gone a dismal 13-41 in their last 54 road games versus an opponent with a winning record, 23-65 in their last 88 on the road versus a right-handed starter, and 46-124 in their last 170 on the road overall. To put things into true perspective, Houston has gone an atrocious 58-133 in their last 191 games overall.
Considering the success that Miguel Gonzalez has had at home over the last one plus years, plus the current nice run the Orioles have had at home, and finally the ineptitude of the Astros on the road, there is logically one way to go in this contest. Looking at the MLB odds, I would advise to play the Orioles -1.5 runs on the run-line.