Saturday MLB Odds & Picks: Astros vs. Dodgers Preview (Sept. 12)


Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Max Muncy and Justin Turner.

Sep 12, 2020, 10:47 AM EDT

Astros vs. Dodgers Betting Odds

Astros Odds +130 [Bet Now]
Dodgers Odds -143 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (-110/-110) [Bet Now]
Time 8:07 p.m. ET

Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Houston Astros are two games behind the New York Yankees for the final playoff spot in the American League, but is mired in a slump at the moment at 2-8 in their last 10.

With 15 games remaining, the Astros will need to string some wins together if they plan on playing any baseball in October.

The Astros will send Framber Valdez to the mound in game one of this two-game series. Valdez will be opposed by Julio Urias of the Dodgers.

Both teams should be well-rested for this matchup as each had the day off yesterday. Let’s break down today’s matchup and also examine if the added rest will translate into more runs on the board.

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Houston Astros

Framber Valdez is 3-3 on the season with a 3.61 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. While his 3.06 FIP does suggest some improvement to his runs allowed, the recent increase in his walks allowed could thwart his progression.

Valdez has allowed 11 walks in his last five starts while he only allowed one walk in each of his previous three starts. These walks are creating a more leveraged situation with men on base and Valdez hasn’t done particularly well in this situational spot.

Overall, he’s stranding just 67% of opposing batters after they reach base. Generally, you would prefer to see this number in the mid-to high 70% range as a baseline.

This means Valdez is having difficulty in limiting the damage in innings he struggles in, which in turn, has led to cluster runs by opposing teams.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Julio Urias has yet to lose a decision this season. He’s 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Urias sports a 4.02 FIP so the .14 run difference between his FIP and ERA points to just a minor regression.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with Urias’s numbers this season.

He’s striking out 8.44 batters per nine innings and while his 2.89 BB/9 ratio might be a little high, he’s been able to strand 78.6% of the runners that reach base.

The knock I have on Urias is that he’s struggled to go deep into ballgames. This season, he’s averaging a little better than 4.2 innings per appearance.

Interestingly enough, his outings are often matched with a Dodgers offensive display. In his eight starts, the Dodgers have scored 6.4 runs per game. He’ll hope to have a similar run support tonight against the Astros.

Betting Analysis

There are a few data points that point to some runs in this ballgame. We highlighted the recent struggles of command with Valdez in addition to Urias’s inability to pitch deep into the game.

In Urias’s eight starts this season, the Dodgers are 6-1-1 to the over.

Over backers have also enjoyed when Valdez is on the mound. The total is 5-2 to the over in his seven starts this season and 5-0 in his last five outings.

I also queried the performance of both teams  with one day’s rest, and found that both teams are a combined 7-1-1 to the over in this situational spot.

Some books have moved the total up to 9.5 but you can still grab a 9 over at BetMGM. I’ll risk a half-unit of my bankroll on both sides coming out and putting some runs on the board.

The Bet: Over 9 (Play up to 9.5)

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