Friday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Astros vs. Tigers: Bet on Houston to Win Easily (June 25)
Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros.
- The Houston Astros offense remains the hottest in MLB, leading the team to 11 consecutive wins entering Friday's tilt against the Detroit Tigers.
- The Tigers may be outmatched, and the Astros may be red-hot, but can you stomach laying -278 to ride with Houston?
- Mike Ianniello breaks down Friday's matchup between Houston and Detroit, and recommends a couple unique ways to bet the Astros on Friday evening.
Editor’s note: Friday’s Astros vs. Tigers game has been postponed due to rain. The game will be made up Saturday as part of a split seven-inning doubleheader beginning at 1:10 p.m. ET, followed by the second game starting at 6:10 p.m. ET.
For betting odds on Saturday’s Astros-Tigers doubleheader, check out our odds page.
Astros vs. Tigers Odds
|Over/Under||9.5 (-105 / -117)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
Houston, we have … no problems at all right now.
The Astros are the hottest team in MLB, boasting an active winning streak of 11 consecutive games. They have the second-best record in baseball and have a staggering +144 run differential — 40 runs higher than the next-closest team. Houston is 18-4 since the start of June.
Detroit has actually been a little better than expected, but still has the fourth-worst record in the American League. The Tigers are 6-4 in their last 10 games and have swept two of their last three series, but the Astros are an entirely different beast.
Astros Starting Pitcher Framber Valdez (LHP)
During last season’s postseason run, Astros pitcher Framber Valdez (LHP) really took his game to the next level: He went 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA during the 2020 MLB Playoffs.
After starting the 2021 season on the Injured List (IL) with a broken finger, Valdez returned on May 28 and picked up right where he left off last year. In five starts, he is 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA. Valdez has yet to allow more than two runs in a start and has pitched at least seven innings in four straight games, earning the victory in each starting appearance.
The strength of Valdez in undoubtedly his curveball, which he throws more than 26% of the time. His breaking ball has conceded a remarkably low .091 batting average and .152 wOBA to opposing hitters. It has also generated a staggering 49% strikeout rate.
Houston’s Elite Offense
I think it’s fair to say the Astros have the best offense in MLB. They rank first in runs per game, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, wOBA and wRC+.
The ‘stros have been without Alex Bregman since June 16, but his replacement, Abraham Toro, is hitting .370 in Bregman’s stead.
During the last two weeks, each of Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Toro is batting over .300 with an OPS over 1.000. Brantley is batting .522 with a 1.346 OPS.
Pour One Out for Wily Peralta
The Houston lineup has been so good that I genuinely feel bad for Wily Peralta (RHP), who is tasked with pitching against the Astros on Friday. Peralta has started just one game since 2017 after he was relegated to the bullpen in 2018 and 2019. He was released by the Royals midway through the 2019 season and remained unsigned during the 2020 season as well.
After signing a minor league contract with Detroit and starting the season with the Toledo Mud Hens, Peralta was called up to the MLB on June 15. The 32-year old made his first start since May 14, 2017 and it went about as well as you would expect. Peralta allowed five runs in five innings and earned as many strikeouts (2) as home runs conceded.
The Tigers Offense is Surprisingly Adept
During the last two weeks the Tigers rank eighth in the league in runs, 12th in batting average, 13th in OPS, 12th in wOBA and 13th in wRC+. When judging Detroit against the lesser teams in MLB, it has actually been one of the better teams offensively.
Rookie Akil Baddoo has quickly become a fan-favorite in Detroit, batting .417 with a 1.056 OPS during the last two weeks. Jonathan Schoop has also really helped the Tigers — as well as his own trade value — by hitting .345 with a 1.155 OPS and six home runs during that stretch.
Astros vs. Tigers Pick
Poor Wily Peralta. He battles his way back to the Majors, making just his second start since 2017, and now he has to face an absolute buzzsaw of a lineup.
Not only do the Astros have the best offense in baseball, but furthermore they are even more dominant against left-handed pitching: Houston bats .289 with .350 wOBA against southpaws.
Detroit’s Peralta allowed the same amount of runs (5) in his lone start this season as Houston’s Valdez has allowed in his last four starts combined. Valdez has been nothing short of dominant, allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last 11 games, dating back to last season and including the playoffs.
Valdez has an elite curveball, and the Tigers rank just 24th in the league against curveballs. Moreover, unlike Houston, Detroit is much worse against left-handing pitching, ranking 20th in MLB in wOBA.
Obviously we want to back the Astros here. But the question is: What is the best way to play them?
Looking at DraftKings as of Thursday night, a -278 moneyline is clearly unplayable. Even a -1.5 run line at -175 seems like a waste.
One option is to play the Astros -1.5 for the First Five Innings at +105. They should jump on Peralta early here. Another option would be to play an alternate run line at -2 (-139) or -2.5 (-108).
During the Astros’ 11-game winning streak, the team has won nine games by at least three runs — including a 12-3 win in the first game of this series with the Tigers.
For me, I think the best bet is that -2.5 alternate run line at -110 or better.
Pick: Houston Astros Alt. Run Line -2.5 (-108)
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