Astros vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Value on the Total as Both Offenses Heat Up (Tuesday, August 3)
Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel.
Astros vs. Dodgers Odds
|Over/Under||8.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of 11 a.m. ET Tuesday and via DraftKings.|
A rivalry is renewed on Tuesday night when the Houston Astros head to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers. Though much has happened since the teams split a two-game set back in May, one could argue the teams are back in the same exact spot. Both offenses fell off the pace they were at in the spring only to regain their form of late. With that said, is it time to target the total here, or do we believe in the starting pitchers? Let’s take a look at the matchup.
Astros Offense Heat-ing Up
There was a time this season when the Astros looked like a shoo-in for the World Series. With a beefy offense making loads of contact, and frequently making hard contact, pitchers were absolutely puzzled throwing to this order. Then came a bout with the coronavirus to halt the undeniable momentum of this club, then a slump. Now, we’re experiencing the resurgence.
The Astros sit atop baseball with a 137 wRC+ over the last two weeks, doing what they do best. They’ve walked a hefty 9.1% of the time, they’ve barely struck out with a 18.6% strikeout rate over that span, and they’ve reigned supreme with an 81.9% contact rate. While the hard-hit balls haven’t come in bunches, the Astros have still hit 21 homers in two weeks — the fourth-most in the league.
The only thing that can stop Houston now is their starter on Tuesday, Lance McCullers. The righty has hit a bit of a wall over his last two starts, allowing eight runs over his past two starts against Cleveland and Seattle, which spanned 11 innings. He’s remained a force in the strikeout department during that time, with exactly eight punch-outs in each of his last four starts, but walks have bitten him as well as a few big innings.
Can Buehler Lead a Dodgers Resurgence?
It’s too early to say whether or not the Dodgers are experiencing a resurgence at the plate, but 21 runs in two games — even against the Diamondbacks — is a start. L.A. notably returned Corey Seager from injury just a few games ago and has started to get some meaningful contributions from Mookie Bets over the last handful of games, at long last.
It appears everything might be coming together for the Dodgers, who still don’t have Cody Bellinger in the right state of mind but have started to fill in some gaps in the lineup. Even with the last two games, we still have to address how this team was playing in the lead-up to that outburst. L.A. has walked just 6.8% of the time in the last week — a troubling number when you consider the Dodgers are the walk kings in the big leagues — and struck out 20.8% of the time. At best, it was an average offense, and it’s one that’s still only produced five homers in the last seven days.
Then, there’s Walker Buehler. He stands as the best line of defense against a hot Astros lineup, and comes in red hot. He’s allowed just three runs on 12 hits over his last three outings with 25 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. The only area that has been suspect is the walk department; he walked nine in five July outings.
I think the conditions are here for many runs. The Astros have been beastly, and their ability to not only make contact and prevent strikeouts, but also their high walk rate lately, should work for them against Buehler. It’s not as if the righty has been immune to barrels and home runs, but his high strikeout rate limits the damage done by big shots and also makes them less likely. This lineup should present a difficult challenge.
I also think the Dodgers should stay hot (relative to the last two games, anyway) against McCullers. Why? Well, not only has McCullers had issues with walks, he also loves to throw his sinker and his slider — they’re his two most frequently-used pitches. The Dodgers rank in the top five this year in pitch value against those two pitches, and I think they should be on top of him early.
This is a great deal on the over.
Pick: Over 8.5 (-115)