MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Astros vs. Giants: How to Bet Matchup of Division Leaders in San Francisco (Friday, July 30)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Gausman.
- MLB's two West Division leaders open a three-game series in San Francisco on Friday night.
- Framber Valdez will start opposite Kevin Gausman in a matchup of starters who have thrived this season.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and which side bettors should back at Oracle Park.
Astros vs. Giants Odds
|Time||Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM|
Something’s got to give here with two division leaders coming in hot. The Astros and Giants are both trying to absorb some moves made by rivals and continue dominating on the field.
With a great matchup against a sinker-balling lefty, could the Giants surprise one of the best teams in baseball with yet another win?
Let’s see where the value lies in the numbers below.
Unfortunately for the rest of the league, it appears the Astros are back. They’ve now won seven of their last nine games, behind some masterful offensive performances. A lineup that had begun to slump has now posted a 114 wRC+ over the last two weeks, striking out just 22.1% of the time and returning to their contact-heavy ways. Houston has gotten a whopping five homers from Kyle Tucker over that span, and Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve continue to hit for average.
The best part about the Astros right now is their pitching staff has received some much-needed relief. The bullpen had long been the Achilles heel of this team, but with Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero now in the fold, and the struggling Joe Smith gone, we as bettors no longer need to wonder what catastrophes lie ahead for the Astros in the late stages of the game.
Framber Valdez is another positive for the Astros entering this game, checking in with a 2.97 ERA across 11 starts and doing an exceptional job getting ground balls with his sinker. His average launch angle currently sits at -7 degrees, and his hard-hit rate has come back down to 42.6%. Hitters have an expected wOBA on contact of just .311 against Valdez, which is spectacular. His only issue has been walks, with over 10% of hitters who step to the plate against the lefty getting a free pass.
San Francisco Giants
Things couldn’t be going better for the Giants right now, at least on the field. The Dodgers did just assemble baseball’s version of a superteam with the acquisition of Max Scherzer and Trea Turner on Thursday, but as far as the standings and recent play are concerned, all is good with the Giants. They’ve picked up six of eight games against the Dodgers to maintain a three-game lead in the division, with a disappointing series loss to the Pirates sandwiched in between.
San Francisco has Kevin Gausman going again here, who is coming off a shockingly-bad performance against the Pirates but who has been great on the whole this year. Walks have begun to present an issue, with three or more in four of his last five starts, and 17 in total over that span. Other than that, he’s been fantastic at limiting the big hits, and good contact in general, with a barrel rate under 8%.
There are two things to look at here with the Giants. One is a wRC+ of 101 against lefties, which is pretty good, but not the best. Another is a 44.9% ground ball rate against southpaws, and a 40.5% ground ball rate in general this year, which ranks 28th in the league. This team is pretty good at getting the ball in the air, and average against lefties, which could help against Valdez.
The chances are that Gausman sees positive regression back to the mean here, with solid ERA indicators and a track record of handling even the most potent offenses in baseball. He’s been great this season at limiting big batted ball events, but as we mentioned above he’s had issues with walks.
The Astros are very contact-reliant and have walked around a league-average rate over the last couple of weeks and all year long. That should play into the Giants’ hands, as should the fact that they’ve generally been able to lift the ball this year and get to lefties. I’d make them heavier favorites.
Pick: Giants ML (-125)