Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Guardians August 5 Betting Preview
After dropping the first game of the series on Thursday, the Cleveland Guardians (54-51) will try to bounce back with a win against the Houston Astros (69-38) Friday in the second of a four-game series. This game will be played at Progressive Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
In Thursday's game, the Astros won 6-0 behind Justin Verlander's MLB-leading 15th win of the season. He went six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, and struck out five.
Offensively, Chas McCormick and Martin Maldonado went a combined five for nine with two home runs, six runs batted in, and three runs scored.
For the Guardians, they were only able to muster together three hits on the night, although Steven Kwan did extend his hitting streak to 18 games with his lone hit.
Astros vs. Guardians August 5 Betting Odds
Houston once again comes in as heavy favorites in the second game of the series. They are -205 to win while Cleveland sits at +172 as underdogs. The over/under for total runs sits at 8.5 while the Guardians are +1.5 (+104) on the runline.
Houston will turn to lefty Framber Valdez in Friday's game. On the season, he is 9-4 in 20 games with a 2.80 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and has 117 strikeouts in 128.2 innings.
The Guardians will turn to 24-year-old righty Hunter Gaddis as he makes his first career start. In 17 games (16 starts) in the minors this season, he is 5-3 with a 4.07 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and has 114 strikeouts in 86.1 innings.
Astros Pushing For AL's Best Record
At 69-38, the Astros trail the New York Yankees by just 1.5 games for the best record in the American League. With their division pretty much solidified (Houston has an 11.5-game lead in the AL West), the Astros will try to push to get the top seed come the postseason in the AL.
Leading the way offensively for Houston is slugger Yordan Alvarez. In 312 at bats, he is hitting .304/.412/.654 with a team-leading 30 home runs, 72 runs batted in, and 68 runs scored.
Jose Altuve has also been phenomenal this season, hitting .283/.368/.513 with 19 home runs, 37 runs batted in, 60 runs scored, and nine stolen bases.
Three-Headed Race Heating Up In The AL Central
The Cleveland Guardians are definitely within striking distance of the AL Central as they sit just one game behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Unfortunately, the White Sox have also started to improve their positioning as they sit just a game behind the Guardians.
With three teams being separated by just two games in the standings, the Guardians know that every win is crucial as the postseason approaches. With three more games against Houston, the Guardians are going to be tested through the rest of the weekend.
Looking at Friday's matchup, the only player that has had much success against Framber Valdez in their career is Jose Ramirez. He is four for seven against the lefty with a home run and two runs batted in.
Cleveland Has Its Work Cut Out For Them
The Houston Astros come into this one with the second-best team ERA in the entire majors at just 3.01. While Cleveland saw ace Justin Verlander dominate on Thursday, it doesn't get much easier with Framber Valdez on the mound Friday.
Throw on top of that the fact that Cleveland will send a youngster out to make his debut against one of the best teams in baseball, and it could be a recipe for disaster.
Obviously, stranger things have happened in baseball, but the Guardians will certainly have their work cut out for them if they want to get back in the win column Friday.
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