Astros vs Cubs Odds | MLB Prediction & Pick (4/23)

Astros vs Cubs Odds | MLB Prediction & Pick (4/23) article feature image

Credit: Getty Images. Pictured: Yordan Alvarez.

Astros vs Cubs Odds

Tuesday, April 23
7:40 p.m. ET
Houston Astros Odds
MoneylineOver/UnderRun Line
-108o / -112u
Chicago Cubs Odds
MoneylineOver/UnderRun Line
-108o / -112u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Houston Astros (7-16) play at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night to start a series against the Chicago Cubs (13-9). Astros vs Cubs odds have the Astros listed as -105 favorites on the moneyline, with an over/under of 10.5 runs.

It’s early in the season, but the Astros' fate may already be hanging in the balance with each game as they look to rally from a start many teams can't recover from.

Offensive conditions look ideal at Wrigley on Tuesday night for a high-scoring affair, thus I'm target the First Five Innings (F5) over/under for my Astros vs Cubs prediction. Both starting pitchers — J.P. France (Houston) and Jordan Wicks (Cubs) — have struggled with allowing hard contact, and neither is a ground-ball pitcher, so expect to see some fireworks.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Houston Astros

The Astros were among the preseason World Series favorites.

But they're on the verge of a lost season in late April.

Houston's 7-16 start is its worst start to a season since missing the playoffs in 2016. They're in last place in the AL West, five games out of first.

The problem is the pitching staff. The Astros' 5.10 staff ERA ranks 29th in MLB, sandwiched in-between the Rockies and White Sox. Houston pitchers have the second-lowest strikeout rate and fourth-highest walk rate.

Part of this is health-related. Christian Javier, Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy are all on the IL. Justin Verlander has returned but can't save the 'Stros alone.

JP France is on the mound today. He carries a 7.08 ERA, but his expected ERA and FIP are both below 5.00, more in line with what we saw last year.

Still, France isn't an overly exciting pitcher. Last season, he ranked in the 13th percentile of pitchers in strikeout rate, 19th in whiff rate, and sixth in chase rate. His fastball velocity ranks in the 22nd percentile of pitchers, and he ranks among the bottom quartile of teams in barrel rate, xBA, xSLG and xISO allowed.

Despite its struggles on the mound, Houston’s offense is still strong, ranking top-five among MLB lineups in wOBA, wRC+, hard-hit rate, and walk rate.

If the Astros want to turn their season around, their pitching needs to drastically improve, but they have the offensive firepower to avenge a slow start.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for MLB bettors
The best MLB betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Chicago Cubs

Chicago has had a strong start to the season, largely due to its offense. It's currently 13-9, just 1.5 games back of the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.

The Cubs rank among the top-10 lineups in wOBA, wRC+, walk rate, barrel rate and average exit velocity.

Jordan Wicks will get the nod for the Cubs on Tuesday night. The 24-year-old left-hander is the fifth-rated prospect in the Cubs’ system and will start his 12th Major League game after debuting in 2023.

Wicks has had mixed results to this point in his career. This season, he has a 5.29 ERA with a 4.96 xERA but a 3.09 FIP and 3.77 xFIP. Wicks' strength comes from his offspeed pitches, where he ranks in the 99th percentile in offspeed run value. This season, Wicks is also 85th percentile in Chase rate, 78th percentile in Whiff rate, and 78th percentile in strikeout rate.

However, he's had issues with walking batters and allowing hard contact.

Astros vs. Cubs

Betting Pick & Prediction

Today’s weather in Chicago is conducive to a higher run-scoring environment. The forecast calls for 16 mph winds blowing out towards center field.

J.P. France has a nith-percentile ground ball rate, while Wicks’ is in the 38th percentile, so I believe we should see plenty of balls that get in the air, which could be trouble in these conditions.

Houston’s pitching may be pitiful, but its offense hasn’t lost a step. And while I believe the Cubs have the better starter, the Astros hit southpaws particularly well.

I'll be on the F5 Over. These two potent offenses will be driving fly balls with the wind at their backs, and both starting pitchers are vulnerable to hard-hit fly balls.

Pick: F5 Over 5.5 (-110)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.