Astros vs Orioles Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, August 8
Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images. Pictured: Yordan Alvarez (Astros)
Astros vs. Orioles Odds
-115 / -105
-115 / -105
It's late enough in the season that we can start to think about potential playoff battles down the line, and this would be an incredibly fun one — the up-and-coming Orioles vs. the never-going-to-die Astros.
The pitching matchup is a great one too, with two electric arms facing off in the form of Framber Valdez and Grayson Rodriguez. Valdez is a top candidate for the AL Cy Young Award and is fresh off a no-hitter. Rodriguez has struggled on the surface this season, but is a top-rated rookie whose stuff still pops whenever he takes the ball.
With two great pitchers on the mound, this should be a tough game for offense — in theory — but there's at least one batter who's catching my eye for Dinger Tuesday and beyond.
If I were to ask you who the best hitter since the start of the 2019 season was (min. 1500 PA), you, being the intelligent reader and seeing that we're in the Astros' team section, might start thinking.
Well, it's not quite Yordan Alvarez, but with a wRC+ of 166, he's basically on par with Aaron Judge (169) and Mike Trout (167), and the trio is well above the rest of the league (Juan Soto fourth at 155).
Because he's battled injuries, Alvarez isn't quite thought of in the same sphere as Judge and Trout, but he's been just about the best hitter in baseball since his debut in 2019.
He's one of those players who bettors want to catch when they're healthy because the production is insane when they are. Alvarez has homered in 19 of his 67 games this season (28.4%) and has at least two total bases in 35 of his 67 games (52.2%).
He's failed to reach base in three (!) games this season. One of those was a one at-bat injury-shortened game.
The man is unreal.
On Tuesday, in a friendly hitting environment (Oriole Park is sixth-best for offense, per Baseball Savant Park Factors) and against a pitcher with great stuff but who struggles with giving up extra-base hits to lefties, Alvarez has some incredibly tempting player props.
Over 1.5 total bases is +125 (44.4% implied), to score a run is +105 (he's done so in 40 of 67 games) and to hit a home run is +375 (21.1% implied). I'll be on all of these.
I mentioned above that Rodriguez has struggled against lefties, so let's take a look here.
It's still an admittedly small sample at the professional level for Rodriguez, but against righties, he's allowing an OPS of just .735. But against lefties, that number skyrockets to .970.
Of the 13 home runs he's given up this season, eight have come against lefties, despite only 41% of his plate appearances coming against lefties.
Those home runs have been his biggest issue this season, as demonstrated by an xFIP of 3.78 that's notably lower than both his ERA (6.09) and FIP (4.80). xFIP, as a stat, stabilizes for home run rate as a key component, so if a player does have an actual home run problem, it may be less trustworthy.
In the long run, I would tend to stabilize this number for Rodriguez, but for the immediate future, it's fair to worry about.
Rodriguez should also be worried about that with his fastball, changeup and slider, which is 84% of his repertoire. Those also happen to be the three pitches Alvarez does the most damage on, both this season and historically for his career.
Add in a breeze blowing out to right field, and Alvarez could have a big day.
Astros vs. Orioles Betting Pick
It's no surprise from what we laid out above, but let's pull out the official bets here for clarity: