Date/Time: Tuesday, July 9, 8:15 p.m. (ET)
Television: MLB Extra Innings
Money Line: Houston (+235) St. Louis (-255)
Total Line: 7.5
Houston now competes in the AL West after leaving the NL Central after last season, but the overall results remain pretty much the same. It has the worst record in the Majors at 32-57 and is almost equally as bad at home as it is on the road. The Astros come into this three-game series opener with just two victories in their last 10 games overall and a 3-9 record in their last 12 games on the road. The total has gone OVER in three of their last four games.
It has been bad all-around for this team with a batting lineup that is ranked 13th in the American League in scoring with an average of just 3.8 runs a game. This is paired with a pitching staff that has a 4.83 ERA and is ranked last in the league in almost every major statistical category there is. Fortunately for this series opener the Astros’ best starter will on the mound. Bud Norris comes in with a 6-7 record and 3.22 ERA. The right-hander is 8-5 against the Cardinals with an ERA of 2.74.
The Cardinals are at the opposite end of the spectrum in the National League. A 5-3 record in their last eight games has pulled them even with Pittsburgh atop the NL Central at 53-34 overall. They are 25-16 at home this season and the total has gone OVER in five of their last eight games.
Balance has been the key to St. Louis’ success this season. It leads the NL in scoring with an average of five runs a game and boasts six different players with at least 35 RBI. This complements a pitching staff that is ranked third in the league with a staff ERA of 3.32. To make matters even worse for Houston in Game 1 against its former division rivals is the fact that Adam Wainwright will get the start for the Cardinals. The staff ace is 11-5 this season with a 2.36 ERA. Lifetime against the Astros, he is 12-1 with an ERA of 1.58.
Free MLB Pick
St. Louis comes into Tuesday night’s contest as a prohibitive favorite and for good reason. While you could probably justify a small play on the UNDER with Norris on the mound for Houston, the free MLB pick in this one is definitely on the Cardinals at home.
St. Louis 4 Houston 2
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.