Los Angeles Dodgers vs Houston Astros betting preview
Walker Buehler RHP (2019: 14-4, 3.26 ERA) vs Framber Valdez LHP (2019: 4-7, 5.86 ERA)
Buehler was lightly worked this summer, passed on for exhibition games and throwing just simulated innings. He told reporters that he was behind in his preparation and is likely on a pitch count to start the season.
Valdez started eight games last season and while he only won four contests, he did go 3-1 with a 4.54 ERA at home – a stark comparison to his 1-6 mark and bloated 7.76 ERA on the road. Valdez played himself into a rotation spot during Summer Camp.
Temperatures in the low 80s with humidity of 75 percent and winds of 9 mph blowing out to center field. Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Betting trend to know
Over is 16-5 in Astros’ last 21 interleague home games. Find more MLB betting trends for Dodgers vs Astros.
First five innings total pick
There’s no shortage of big bats in either lineup, especially the Astros.
Houston crushed the ball in its opening series with the Seattle Mariners, plating a grand total of 29 runs. A lot of that action happened in the first five innings, where the Astros scored 25 of those 29 runs. In fact, there were 35 combined runs scored in the first five innings of that four-game series with Houston and Seattle.
Los Angeles looked to be on a similar pace after scoring eight and nine runs in the first two games of its opening series with the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers' bats then went cold in the final two games, amassing only five totals runs. However, the teams combined for 15 runs in the opening five innings and we like the early action again Tuesday.
PREDICTION: First five innings Over 4.5 (-117)
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Buehler (who's celebrating his 26th birthday) is on a likely pitch count Tuesday, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
Roberts told the media they would ease the right-hander back into form after limited training during the COVID-19 shutdown. He didn’t put a hard cap on Buehler but with a lineup as deep as Houston's, the pitch count could climb quickly in the opening innings (and it wouldn’t be shocking to see one or two pitches get wasted on beanballs on the Astros).
Valdez has allowed innings to get away from him in the past and has been especially rocky early into starts, touting a 9.39 ERA in first innings last season. If he’s hit hard early on, we may not see either starter long.
PREDICTION: Over 9 (-113)
The uncertainty around the starters has us looking beyond the pitchers for edges. And while Houston has produced plenty of early fireworks, the bats have cooled off over the course of those first four games.
The Astros average only 0.5 runs through the final three innings (seven through nine) which cost them the series sweep of Seattle in Game 3 of that American League West set. The Dodgers, on the other hand, do the most damage in those final three frames, plating an average of 3.5 runs per game in that span.
In an intense game like Tuesday’s, there should be plenty of drama in those late frames. We like L.A.’s bats to come through in the crunch and lean on one of the majors' best bullpens to exact a little bit of revenge in Game 1 of this interleague series.
PREDICTION: Los Angeles -140
Dodgers vs Astros betting card
- First five innings Over 4.5 (-117)
- Over 9 (-113)
- Los Angeles -140
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