This game could be low scoring as Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43 ERA) and the Houston Astros (67-56) meet Zack Greinke (13-2, 1.58 ERA) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (67-54) in the second of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 3-0 and Houston leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 22 and will air on SNLA and RTSW.
In his most recent outing, Kazmir pitched 5.1 innings, giving up six runs, striking out six and walking three in a 9-2 loss to the Rays. George Springer (.264, 43 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with one run and one stolen base. The Dodgers were victorious the last time Greinke pitched. He had a good outing, pitching 7.0 innings, allowing one run, striking out eight and walking one in a 2-1 victory over the Reds.
Houston, a +115 underdog, will look to capitalize at home against Los Angeles. Oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at six runs. When playing as the underdog, the Astros have a 27-27 record and overall money line at +434. They have performed well against the National League to earn an SU record of 11-3 and a 5-1 record when they were the underdog. Houston has been struggling as of late. In the last 10 games, Houston has only averaged 2.8 runs per game compared to the 4.3 they've averaged on the season. The Astros lead the majors in home runs with 166. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking third in all of baseball with 93 steals. As for the Houston defense and pitching staff, teams routinely struggle to score runs against the Astros, who allow an AL-low 3.4 runs per home game. The Astros don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking second in the league with a 1.19 WHIP.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Dodgers come into this game with a win percentage of .556 when playing as the favorite (60-48) and an overall money line of -1,185. Against AL opponents, they are 8-6 SU and have played well as the favorite with a 7-6 record. The Dodgers are known for their power, smashing 148 home runs. The last 10 games have really brought the worst out of the Los Angeles pitchers. They allowed 4.8 runs per game during that span, which is higher than their season average of 3.7. They also average just 8.2 hits allowed per game, third-best in the NL. The Los Angeles pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging 8.6 strikeouts per game.
So far this season, the Astros are 1-0 against the Dodgers. This game will feature Greinke (RHP) on the mound against the Astros, who have a 43-36 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Dodgers will be the left-hander Kazmir. They sport a 10-13 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
Houston won its last game in a shutout, its 12th of the season. Los Angeles has been shut out nine times this season.
The Astros are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 10 strikeouts. The Dodgers have a record of 14-15 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they are outhit, the Astros are 12-41. The Dodgers have a 13-40 record when opponents outhit them.
Houston ranks at the top of the league when it comes to home runs with 166 this season. Los Angeles ranks in the top five at fifth with 148.
Ranking 15th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.06 per game. Los Angeles ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 8.44.
Ranking 11th, Houston is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.728). Los Angeles ranks in the top five at fourth with an OPS of .754.
When the Dodgers allow at least one home run, they are 28-37. When the Astros allow one or more homers, they have a 24-38 record.