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Cleveland Guardians vs. Houston Astros May 23 Betting Preview
Monday night will feature a showdown in the Lone Star State as the Cleveland Guardians (17-20) square off with the Houston Astros (27-15). The Astros will host this one at Minute Maid Park with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m.
Over the weekend, the Guardians split an abbreviated two-game series with the Detroit Tigers. On Sunday, they dropped the finale 4-2.
Shane Bieber took the loss despite going seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. He struck out 10 in the defeat. Offensively, Josh Naylor hit his sixth home run of the season after returning from the COVID-19 list.
For Houston, they were able to take three of four at home versus their in-state rivals, the Texas Rangers. They finished the series win Sunday with a 5-2 victory.
Jose Urquidy was sensational in the win, going 6.2 innings, allowing just one run, and striking out 10. Offensively, Jose Altuve hit his ninth home run of the season, a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning.
Guardians vs. Astros May 23 Betting Odds
The Astros are the favorites playing at home on Monday. They are -205 to win while the Guardians’ moneyline sits at +172. The runline features Cleveland +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is 8.5.
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Although they have not officially announced it, the Guardians are expected to go with righty Zach Plesac Monday night. On the season, he is 1-3 with a 4.42 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and has struck out 23 in 38.2 innings.
The Astros will counter with 25-year-old righty Luis Garcia. In seven games, he is 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and he has 41 strikeouts in 37.2 innings pitched.
By The Numbers
The Guardians hold the edge on Houston in the offensive category. Cleveland currently ranks seventh in scoring averaging 4.69 runs per game. The Astros rank 14th averaging 4.27 runs per game.
Defensively, it has been all Houston. They rank second in the majors in scoring defense allowing an average of just 3.20 runs per game (2.69 at home). The Guardians rank 25th allowing 4.50 runs.
Cleveland Trying To Be Better On The Road
At 17-20, the Guardian currently sits six games back in the AL Central of the Minnesota Twins. If they hope to stay relevant in the division, they have to perform better on the road, where they are just 9-12 to date. They also hope to turn around their current slump as they have lost six of their last 10.
Cleveland continues to get production from a couple of youngsters in Josh Naylor and Owen Miller. To date, Naylor is hitting .351/.395/.649 with six home runs and 23 runs batted in. Miller is hitting .294/.347/.514 with four home runs, 17 runs batted in, and a team-leading 23 runs scored.
In their careers against Luis Garcia, Guardians hitters are a combined one for nine against the young righty.
Astros Look Dangerous Again
Despite the controversy surrounding the 2017 season, the Astros have been one of the best organizations over the last several years having been to the World Series three times since 2017. This year looks no different as they are off to a strong 27-15 start.
Offensively, this team is loaded from top to bottom with hitters like Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley, and Yuli Gurriel. In fact, they rank second in the majors in home runs with 57, led by Yordan Alvarez with 12 home runs thus far.
Faced with the tough task of replacing Carlos Correa, rookie Jeremy Pena has been up to the task thus far. In 126 at bats, he is hitting .286/.343/.508 with seven home runs, 22 runs batted in, 20 runs scored, and three stolen bases. This is all while also playing a really strong shortstop defensively.
Given their strong start, it is no wonder why they have the third-best odds of winning the World Series at +800.
Got To Beat The Best To Be The Best
The Houston Astros are on a shortlist of the best teams in the American League, and this is a great opportunity for the Guardians to prove that they can run with the big dogs.
Cleveland’s offense has shown it can break out at times and will look to pounce on young righty Luis Garcia. The real question may be whether the pitching and defense can do enough to slow down Houston’s bats.
If the pitching can contain the Astros, the Guardians could have a shot of stealing the opener from Houston. It won’t be easy, though, especially since Houston is 12-5 thus far this season when playing at home.
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