After the Dodgers got no-hit yesterday, and with a real interesting line I'm going to back over the total between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. This is almost an opposite line play as I think this total is just a bit too high. We have two extremely good pitchers on the mound who are both having a tremendous year yet odds makers set this line a bit higher than probably most people anticipated. Expect both these teams to have more than a few quality at-bats.
At first glance with these pitchers you would think that MLB odds would be offering the line at about 6 or 6.5, and that would be accurate when it initially came out. The line since then has jumped to 7 which is a bit surprising to me considering the pitchers on the hill. At that number is regular juice across the board, and the best odds on over the total 7 is at Pinnacle sports at -103.
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Los Angeles Dodgers
Zack Greinke takes the mound for the Dodgers with a 1.58 ERA, 0.86 whip, 150 strikeouts, and a 13-2 record. He is having one of the greatest years in recent memory for a starting pitcher and is simply been the best pitcher in the major leagues. The only time he has been close to human is on the road with an ERA of 1.79 and batters hitting just under .200 against him. Still, he has been hittable at times albeit rarely, and in his last two road starts he has given up seven earned runs in 13 innings. Right now he is pretty much a lock to win the Cy Young award but I am imagining his numbers will go up just a little bit prior to the end of the year, expect the Astros to get a few runs against him.
The Dodgers rank 14th in runs scored per game at 4.18, third in OPS at .757, and 11th in team batting average hitting .255. After getting no-hit yesterday I'm expecting them to come out with a little bit of revenge to go ahead and put up more than a few runs. Their task is not easy with Scott Kazmir on the mound but the Dodgers are second in the National League in OPS against left-handers at .749. Like how the Astros might surprise everyone and get a few off of Greinke expect the same from the Dodgers.
Scott Kazmir gets the start for the Astros and comes in with a 2.43 ERA, 1.12 whip, 123 strikeouts, and a 6-8 record. For the Astros he has pitched well but he is just 1-3 and he is coming off a rough start against the Tampa Bay Rays. This could be a good bounce back spot for him but he has given up four home runs in his last three games and I expect the Dodgers to do a little bit of damage against him in home run friendly Minute Maid Park.
At the plate Houston ranks 12th in runs scored per game at 4.29, 12th in OPS at .725, and 29th in team batting average hitting .241. The bad news for the Astros is that they are facing the best pitcher in the major leagues, the good news is they hit a lot better at home. All of their major offensive stats go up at home and they are second in the league in home runs per game. Houston is going to struggle somewhat against Greinke but look for them to find a way with one big hit or two to put up a few runs.
Sometimes it's about the number, and the number in this case is 7. Even though this is an American League ballpark so the DH will be in play, I still think odds makers are telling their hand some by making this line high in comparison to the solid pitching matchup. I'm going to back the MLB odds makers in this spot and take over the total, look for more runs than most MLB fans are anticipating.
MLB Pick: Over at BetOnline sports book