Two hopeful playoff contenders will meet up for a three-game series this weekend, with game one set for this evening. Should we back the Dodgers or Astros with our sports picks?
The MLB odds are currently in Houston's favor at home, with Mike Fiers and Brett Anderson set to toe the rubber for their respective teams this evening.
As of now, we see the Astros listed in the -120 to -125 range to pick up the win, while the Dodgers can be backed at an appealing price of +115. The game's total is currently trading at an even eight runs.
Houston Astros (Fiers)
The Astros just finished up a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays in which they won twice and lost twice. They were completely dominated by Chris Archer in the finale last night in a 1-0 defeat, and they'll obviously be hoping they can have better luck at the plate against southpaw Brett Anderson.
Friday's starting pitcher for Houston will be new arrival Mike Fiers. Since a rough debut with the Astros in which he surrendered seven hits and six earned runs, Fiers has settled in nicely over his last two assignments, allowing a grand total of one earned run over 12 innings of work against Detroit and Oakland. His ERA is down to 3.71 with his new ballclub now.
Though Fiers has looked better recently, he's still very prone to blowups, and tonight he has to come to terms with one of the best offenses in all of baseball, particularly against right-handed pitching. This is going to be a huge test for Fiers, especially since he's already struggled against this LA team once already this season; in his one meeting against the Dodgers, he allowed five hits and five earned runs over five innings, though he did strike out eight.
Los Angeles Dodgers (Anderson)
A short two-game trip to Oakland didn't go so well for the Dodgers, as they dropped both games. They're now at 67-53 overall this season but still hold a 2.5-game edge on the Giants for first place in the division.
This is clearly a race that's going to come down to wire, meaning each and every game is of the utmost importance for the Dodgers as the end of the regular season approaches. Tonight they'll be praying they can get a quality outing of left-hander Brett Anderson, who's 7-7 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.33 WHIP so far this season. If we toss out a hiccup here or there, Anderson has been a model of consistency for the club in 2015, but he'll really be put to the test in Houston this evening.
Thing is, Anderson has actually performed better away from home (2.79 ERA) than in LA (3.99 ERA), and current Houston hitters are batting just .226 against him in total throughout previous meetings. Will Anderson be able to hold down Carlos Correa and company tonight?
It's been nice to see Fiers settle into the rotation for the Astros, but we're of the opinion the home team may be a tad overpriced for tonight's matchup.
After all, the Dodgers have crushed right-handers this season, and they've already found success against Fiers once this season, which should give them confidence they can do it again.
We know the Astros have some potent bats, particularly versus lefties, but we think Anderson will be able to at least hold his own and keep the Dodgers in this game. It's not very often we see LA priced out as an underdog, and in this case we think the wrong team is favored. As a result, we'll be adding LA to our collection of MLB picks for Friday night. Good luck!
MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers +115