Justin Verlander will get the start for the Astros (84-66, 38-37 home) as they host the Orioles (93-56, 48-26 away) at Minute Maid Park. The Orioles will give the starting nod to John Means. Check out my prediction for game one of this American League matchup between the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES VS HOUSTON ASTROS BETTING PICK
The Pick: Baltimore Orioles +126
This game will be played at Minute Maid Park at 8:10 ET on Monday, September 18th.
WHY BET THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES:
- The Orioles will be taking on a Astros club that is just 2-3 over their last five games.
- In their last five games as the underdog, the Orioles have put together a record of 4-1.
- Justin Verlander has struggled of late, coming in with an ERA of 5.57 over his last five starts.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES LOOKING TO EXTEND AL EAST LEAD
Baltimore head into today’s game seeking their 3rd straight win and are in 1st place in the AL East. On the road, Baltimore is 48-26 and 45-30 at home. With an overall record of 93-56, the Orioles have a series win percentage of 68% (30-14-3).
John Means was unable to secure a victory in his latest start against the Cardinals, surrendering three runs on five hits over five innings of work. Despite his efforts, Baltimore fell 5-2 in the contest.
This season, the Orioles are 6th in the league at 5.1 runs per game. Over their last ten games, they have a combined batting average of .243 (12th) leading to 5.7 runs per contest. Overall, they are generating 3.1 walks per game compared to 8 strikeouts. Baltimore’s on-base percentage of .322 has them 11th in the MLB.
The Orioles’ Gunnar Henderson has been one of the team’s most productive offensive players in 2023. The third baseman holds a .258 batting average with 79 RBIs and 27 home runs.
WILL THE HOUSTON ASTROS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AT HOME?
So far this season, Houston has played in 47 series, going 26-17-4. Their current record of 84-66 is good for first place in the AL West. On the road, the Astros have gone 46-29 compared to 38-37 at home.
Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander has an 11-8 record and 3.39 ERA so far this season. His ERA is higher on the road (4.26) than at home (3.31). Verlander’s WHIP stands at 1.16, with opposing teams batting .227 against him and a slugging percentage of .378.
Despite going seven innings in his most recent start, Justin Verlander and the Astros were unable to come away with a win, falling 6-2 to the Athletics. The veteran righty allowed five runs on eight hits in the contest.
Across their last ten games, the Astros’ offense is 8th in batting average, leading to an average of 5.8 runs per contest in that span. Overall, they are the 5th ranked scoring offense and posted a season-long OPS of .768 on 206 (7th).
Yordan Alvarez has been a major contributor to the Astros offense in 2023, leading the team with 28 home runs and 93 RBIs. His slugging percentage of .591 is indicative of his power-hitting prowess.