Lance McCullers (5-4, 3.17 ERA) and the Houston Astros (68-56) take on Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.34 ERA) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (67-55) in a game that has the potential to be low scoring. This is the last of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 3-1 and Houston leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 23 and can be seen on SNLA, RTSW and TBS.
McCullers pitched 0.1 inning in his last outing, surrendering six runs, striking out one and walking one in a 12-9 defeat to the Rangers. George Springer (.264, 43 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with one run and one stolen base. Kershaw went 7.0 innings, surrendering one run, striking out seven and walking two in a 5-4 defeat to the Athletics in his most recent start. Adrian Gonzalez (.289, 65 Rs, 24 HRs, 73 RBIs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Los Angeles takes on Houston as a -170 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at seven runs. The Astros have an overall money line of +534 and a record as the underdog of 27-27. In interleague play, they have had a solid season, earning 5-1 and 12-3 records as the underdog and SU respectively. The Astros have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.3 runs per game. The Astros lead the MLB in home runs with 168. Houston is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 93 bases. Opposing batters know they're in for a battle when they play Houston. The Astros are the top team when it comes to pitching, allowing a league-low 3.6 runs per game. The Astros are the second-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.18 so far this season.
In games where it is the favorite, Los Angeles has a 60-48 record and an overall money line of -1,285. Los Angeles is 7-6 as the favorite and 8-7 SU against American League opponents. Offensively, the Dodgers have really sputtered in interleague games. They have decreased their season average of 4.2 runs per game by averaging 3.5 in those contests. The Dodgers can change the game with one swing of the bat, ranking fifth in the league with 148 home runs. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Dodgers are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season. The Dodgers have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.6 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Astros have the edge in the season series, 2-0. The Astros have a 24-20 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Kershaw takes the mound. McCullers (RHP) will be on the hill against the Dodgers, who have a 57-41 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - LAD, O/U - Over
Los Angeles has won 50% (21-21) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Houston has won 57% (27-20) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Dodgers are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Astros have a 22-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Astros are 13-41. The Dodgers have a 13-40 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Houston has hit 168 this season. Los Angeles ranks fifth with 148 home runs.
Houston and Los Angeles both rank in the top half of the league in hits. Houston sits at 15th with 8.05 hits per game and Los Angeles ranks 11th with 8.37.
Ranking 12th, Houston is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.726). Los Angeles ranks in the top five at fifth with an OPS of .752.
The Dodgers are 28-38 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Astros are 24-38 when they allow at least one homer.