MLB Best Bets for Astros vs Guardians: Houston Stays Hot at Home

Houston Astros catcher Victor Caratini.
Houston Astros catcher Victor Caratini. / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
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Do the Houston Astros have their mojo back?


They’re now on a three-game win streak after defeating the Cleveland Guardians in dramatic extra-innings walk-off fashion at home Tuesday night. The final score was 9-8.

Perhaps it was the energy change of Jose Abreu DFA-ing himself to work on his swing, or maybe it’s just that the pitching rotation is getting healthier, but either way, I’m willing to bet on it.

Justin Verlander gets the ball tonight at home, and he has looked strong to start the season, allowing only two earned runs across his first two starts (10 ⅓ innings pitched). However, his xERA of 4.50, according to Statcast, suggests there could be some regression. Keep your eye on Jose Ramirez, who has excellent career numbers vs. Verlander. 

Triston McKenzie gets the start for Cleveland. McKenzie is pitching with a torn ligament in his left elbow (true story), which seems to have affected his command. McKenzie has walked 6.95 batters per nine innings this year, which could spell trouble vs. a Houston team that no longer has Abreu as an automatic out. Despite their lack of wins, the Astros have the third-best BA in MLB (.265), the fifth-highest SLG (.419), and the fifth-best OPS (.750).

The Guardians have been one of the best teams in baseball when it comes to RISP, while the Astros have been one of the worst teams when it comes to relief pitching. Despite their star power, the Astros bullpen could be shaky today with many relievers—including closer Josh Hader—likely unavailable after being used in Tuesday night’s extra innings.  

When I add all this up, all signs point to the over on the game total of nine runs tonight at the Juice Box. 

Expect Jose Altuve and Jeremey Pena to get hits, and Triston McKenzie to strike out fewer than 4.5 batters. The Astros have the lowest K rate in MLB at just 16.6%, and McKenzie has struck out no more than two batters in each of his last three starts. 

The Astros are -175 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win, so if you don’t like the payout but want to shy away from the run line, consider an SGP (same-game parlay) with one of the player props mentioned above. 

The Astros have won five of their last seven matchups with the Guardians dating back to 2023. 

The Bets, with odds coming via DraftKings Sportsbook:

Astros -1.5 (+120)

Over 9 runs (-108) 

Triston McKenzie under 4.5 K (-195)

Jennifer Piacenti


In addition to being a fantasy sports and betting analyst at Sports Illustrated, Jennifer is a radio host for Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, and she hosts her own podcast, “Waiver Wired” on the Extra Points podcast network. Jennifer has been nominated for multiple FSWA awards for her NFL DFS video series. She’s a Scott Fish Bowl Finalist, and she finished third overall in the 2021 NFFC post-season mini. Jennifer is also a featured expert on MLB Network’s “Bettor’s Eye,” and a member of the esteemed Tout Wars, the fantasy baseball battle of the experts.