Astros vs. Diamondbacks Odds, Picks, Predictions: Houston’s Bats Should Thrive Against Madison Bumgarner
Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Bregman of the Astros vs. the Angels
- The Diamondbacks are home underdogs on Tuesday against the Astros.
- Madison Bumgarner will be on the bump for Arizona while Houston will start Luis Garcia.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Astros vs. Diamondbacks Odds
|Over/Under||9 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
Despite finishing with the worst record in the league at 52-110 last season, no team underperformed its expected record more than the Diamondbacks. While they still would have been at the bottom of the standings, based on their Run Differential, Arizona should have expected to be 61-101.
After getting the win in their home opener, the Diamondbacks dropped three straight to the Padres and already find themselves at the bottom of the MLB standings.
Houston reached the World Series for the fourth time in the last seven years in 2021 but ultimately fell to the Atlanta Braves in six games. Expected to be right back in the mix this season, the Astros started the year taking three of four games against the Angels.
The Astros’ 11-day road trip to start the season will continue with a stop in Phoenix for a two-game set against the D-Backs. The underachieving Diamondbacks will be a popular team to bet on this season, but is there enough value on Tuesday to take a shot with them?
Astros Offense Starting Off Hot
The 25-year-old Luis Garcia (RHP) finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting last season after an 11-8 campaign with a 3.48 ERA and 3.63 FIP. He quickly earned the trust of his teammates and got the start in the series clincher in Game 6 of the ALCS, shutting out the Red Sox over 5 2/3 innings.
Garcia has a very goofy windup and almost looks like he is doing a two-step, but it works for him, especially when he is throwing his nasty cutter. It will be interesting to see if he increases the usage on his cutter (22.6%) and slider (12.4%) given how effective they were, both holding hitters under a .175 batting average. He threw his fastball 44.7% of the time, but opponents hit .301 against it.
In 2021, the Houston offense scored more runs than any team in the league. The finished first in wRC+, second in wOBA, and had the best team batting average in baseball. The Astros have picked up right there they left off, scoring 20 runs and clubbing eight home runs in their first four games.
Carlos Correa is gone after signing in Minnesota, but it seems like Alex Bregman’s decline was slightly exaggerated. Bregman went 6-for-14 in the first series, clubbing two home runs and picking up six RBIs. Kyle Tucker was Houston’s best hitter last season and already has a pair of home runs himself.
Diamondbacks Stumbling Out of the Gate
Veteran Madison Bumgarner (LHP) has clearly reached the back nine of his career, finishing 2021 7-10 with a 4.67 ERA and 4.85 xFIP. There is still some signs of life for Bumgarner though. He has shown an early uptick in his velocity this year. After only reaching 93 miles per hour 11 times last season, he hit that mark multiple times in Spring Training and twice on Opening Day.
It is only one game, but his fastball averaged 91.6 mph on Thursday, after sitting at 90.4 mph last season. Bumgarner lasted just three innings in the opener despite allowing just one hit after struggling with his control and issuing four walks.
Arizona was snakebitten on offense last year, finishing 25th in runs, 26th in wOBA and 27th in wRC+. Only the Pirates hit fewer home runs than the Diamondbacks. Just one player on Arizona hit over 20 home runs, and he is now on the Mets. No other player on the team even hit 15 long balls.
This season has not gotten off to the start they’d hoped as Arizona has just 15 hits through their first four games, the fewest in the league. Nobody on the Snakes is batting over .250 so far this season, and when they have at least put the ball in play, they have had an average Exit Velocity of just 87.7.
The Diamondbacks offense can’t possibly stay this bad all season. Despite their abysmal batting average early in the season, they have drawn 19 walks already this year, the second-best Walk Rate in the league.
Garcia was terrific last year, but his 2.73 ERA and 3.46 xFIP at home became a 4.24 ERA and 4.41 xFIP on the road. He could be a slight regression candidate in his sophomore year based on some of his expected numbers.
On the other hand, Houston’s high-powered offense should have no problem with the 32-year-old Bumgarner, especially if the command issues we saw last week continue. Of his 68 pitches, just 37 went for strikes.
I’ll play Over 9.5 and hope this is the game the Diamondbacks offense decides to get the season started. And hey, if not, there is always a decent chance the Astros can put up 10 by themselves.
Pick: Over 9.5 (-115 or better)