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MLB Betting Odds and Picks (Tuesday, August 4): Predictions for Astros vs. Diamondbacks

MLB Betting Odds and Picks (Tuesday, August 4): Predictions for Astros vs. Diamondbacks article feature image

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: George Springer

Astros vs. Diamondbacks Betting Odds

Astros odds -130 [BET NOW]
D-backs odds +114 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 9.5 (-108/-112) [BET NOW]
Time Tuesday, 9:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. ET and via FanDuel. Get up to a $500 risk-free bet at FanDuel today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Arizona Diamondbacks welcome the Houston Astros into Chase Field Tuesday night for a three-game series. The Diamondbacks are scuffling right now and even though it’s only ten games into the season, there is plenty cause for concern.

Arizona is averaging 2.7 runs per game and has lowest home run tally (2) of any team in baseball.

Even the Miami Marlins, who have only played three times due to their games being postponed, have hit more home runs (5) than the Diamondbacks.

As a team, Arizona is batting only .192 and slugging .265, which rank second-to-last and dead last, respectively, in the majors.

While a scheduled day off yesterday came at the right time for Arizona, I have my doubts that this team will be able to turn the switch against a hot-hitting Houston Astros team.

Astros Starter

Rookie right-hander, Cristian Javier, is expected to get the start for Houston. Javier was stellar in his first career start, giving up just one run into the sixth inning against a potent Dodgers lineup. Through his first start, Javier has a 2.33 SIERA and a 2.74 xFIP.

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

He was able to induce a a soft-contact rate of 50% on batted balls, which suggests hitters may have struggled picking up his pitches.

While the Diamondbacks will likely be searching for any tape they can find on Javier, the fact that he is an unknown commodity could work to his advantage against an already struggling Diamondbacks ball club.

Diamondbacks Starter

Arizona will counter with Madison Bumgarner in the series opener. The three-time All-Star and former World Series MVP left the Giants for a new challenge in Arizona, and partly because the Diamondbacks were willing to offer a five-year contract as opposed to just four years.

While Bumgarner has yet to record his first win with his new club, he hasn’t pitched all that poorly. The left-hander is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings.

What could be a concern is what Bumgarner’s predictive numbers suggest. Bumgarner’s SIERA number is 4.89 with an xFIP of 5.53. I wanted to dig in a bit more given that he’s now pitching in Arizona, which can be a launch pad for home runs, as opposed to the spacious confines of Oracle Park.

Worth the Fade

I know it’s only two games in, but Bumgarner seems to be giving up much more fly balls than ground balls, and by a wider margin than any other time in his career.

He has a fly-ball percentage of 54.8% and a ground-ball to fly-ball ratio of only 0.47 (the worst in his career). He’s also walking 3.27 batters per 9 innings and that could be a recipe for disaster against a team like the Astros that is patient at the plate and walks 12.3% of the time.

Through his first two starts, Bumgarner also has a high rate of hard-hit balls (54.8%) with only 12.9% of his batted balls being soft contact. These numbers are currently his worst output in his career. The combination of these factors is a definite red flag for me and I would tread very carefully at the prospects of backing Bumgarner and the light-hitting Diamondbacks.

What I’m Betting

Hopefully I’ve made my point as to why I like the Astros tonight. Houston’s bats never seem to cool off and the Diamondbacks are really struggling to show any signs of a pulse at this time. At 31 years of age, one has to wonder if we’re starting to see signs of regression for Madison Bumgarner.

Some of his numbers could be due to pitching in a new venue but I know that a hitter’s park like Chase Field won’t be doing him any favors.

We get the Astros at a short price as a favorite and that’s music to this bettor’s ears. Let the Diamondbacks fade continue. Give me the Astros on the moneyline to make it two in a row on the road.

The Pick: Astros -130 (play up to -140)

[Bet now at FanDuel. NJ, PA, CO, IN and WV only.]

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