It's not too often a team sweeps a four-game series, but Houston has a chance to do just that Thursday afternoon against Baltimore. Do we go with the flow and the Astros for our free MLB pick today? Or is there any value with the underdog Orioles?
Orioles-Astros Thursday Betting Odds
In the early betting most MLB odds were listing Houston and Dallas Keuchel at around -160 over Baltimore and Wei-Yin Chen, with a total of 7.5 runs.
Houston has taken the first three games of this four-game set, winning 5-2 Monday, 6-4 Tuesday and 3-1 Wednesday. The Astros (34-20) had gone 0-2-1 in their previous three series, so a sweep of this one would be nice.
Baltimore (23-29), meanwhile, has lost five in a row, scoring a total of 12 runs in the process. The O's are also just 6-16 on the road this season.
Today's pitching match-up is a replay of a game of 10 days ago, won by Baltimore 4-3.
Keuchel (7-1, 1.76) is eight-for-11 on quality starts this season. Last time out he tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout against the White Sox, walking none while whiffing 11. And over his last three starts he's allowed just four runs through 24 innings. Houston is 9-2 in Keuchel's starts this year, and his last three starts have all played UNDER.
In three career starts against Baltimore, including a good effort in a losing cause 10 days ago, Keuchel has allowed eight runs through 20 innings; the Astros lost two of those games, and two of those games played UNDER.
In ten starts this season Chen (1-4, 3.21) has allowed more than three ER just once, a couple weeks ago against Seattle. Last time out he held Tampa to three runs through seven innings, although Baltimore lost that game 3-0. The Orioles have lost three of Chen's last four starts, but more tellingly the UNDERS are 5-0-1 in his last six starts.
In four career starts against Houston, including a decent effort 10 days ago, Chen has allowed nine runs and 27 hits through 24 2/3 innings; Baltimore won all four of those games, with the UNDERS going 3-1.
Thursday's Batting Splits
Houston owns a .732 team OPS against left-handed pitching this season, while Baltimore owns a .715 OPS against lefties.
O's-Astros Free Picks
Houston is our MLB pick on the side today, and in searching for a better price we'll gamble and go with the home team on the run line. Also, the UNDERS are 19-11 in games played at Minute Maid Park this season, and these two starting pitchers are a combined 12-8 on the UNDERS.
MLB Picks: Houston +135 on the run line at Heritage and UNDER 7.5 runs at GT Bets