Padres vs Astros Odds, Pick: MLB Betting Preview (Sep. 8)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres.
Padres vs Astros Odds
The Astros will look to build upon a dominant sweep over the Rangers, in which they put up 39 runs across three games. They will face off against NL Cy Young favorite Blake Snell, who has pitched to a 2.50 ERA across 155 IP. Hunter Brown (4.53 ERA, 137 IP) has not paid off his high potential recently, but is priced as a -140 in this matchup.
Blake Snell's push for a second Cy Young award will continue in this tough spot versus a scorching hot Astros lineup. He has allowed three earned runs or less in 19 consecutive starts entering this matchup, and has pitched to an ERA of just 1.89 across his last 57 IP. Snell's second half WHIP has actually risen to 1.30, but that concern has been quelled by the ability to strand runners at incredible rates.
In eight consecutive starts Snell has stranded 90% of baserunners or more. His career average strand-rate sits at 78% entering this contest. His season BABIP is .265, compared to a career mark of .295. Snell's 107 Stuff+ rating and 95 Location+ mark both rate notably worse than we saw a year ago.
There is something to be said for making big pitches in the right moments, as Snell has clearly done. A lot of these same negative regression comments were true the last time that Snell claimed the Cy Young. Even still, it does appear hard to argue that he has not had some luck on his side in recently.
While Snell might have a flair for the big moments, but the same can not be said for the Padres offense, nor the bullpen of late. Across 1376 PA's with RISP this season San Diego owns a 28th ranked .234 average. They have blown 33 leads this season, and recently have even seen Josh Hader chipping in some blown saves.
The Padres have hit to a wRC+ of 101 over the last 30 days, with the third best BB/K ratio in the league at 0.52. A fifth lowest BABIP of .276 over that span has hidden a sound process at the plate.
Houston's 149 wRC+ over the last 30 days is the top mark in baseball by some margin. Its 0.58 BB/K is also the top mark league wide, and they have struck out just 16.3% of the time. In a small sample of 20 PA's since returning to the lineup Michael Brantley has slugged .684. Jose Abreu is starting to pick it up as well, with a .652 slug rate in September and .417 mark since the All-Star break after an abysmal start to the year.
Houston will be in their preferred split versus a lefty in Snell. The Astros' 127 wRC+ versus left-handed pitchers is the second best mark in baseball.
Hunter Brown has struggled to a 5.42 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 43 innings since the All-Star break. His expected rates have remained consistent over that span however, and his 4.09 xERA this season suggests he should find better results moving forwards. He also owns a strong Stuff+ rating of 106, and a Pitching+ of 101.
Padres vs. Astros
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Astros offense enters this matchup in top form and continues to dominate all types of pitchers. They make the toughest matchup for a lefty of any AL side, and are the perfect candidate to sell high on Snell. The greatest key to Snell's recent success has been unsustainable dominance with runners on, but if he should trend towards his career average that would be an easy avenue to greater ER totals.
The Padres bullpen has shown the ability to collapse consistently, and continues to show as less of a strength. It would not be surprising at all to see Snell dominate and the Padres find a way to blow this one, either.
Offensively the Padres continue to quietly post better than average results, even if that has not translated to any legitimate success. With just Cronenworth out of the lineup they will make a tough target for Hunter Brown. Brown's ER total is set at 2.5 with the over at +135. That could be a solid play in itself, and is a comment on why I think the over has a little edge here.
Betting the game total to go over 8.5 at anything better than -120 is my favorite play on this matchup.