In the second of a four-game series between the Cleveland Indians (38-44) and the Houston Astros (38-44) at Progressive Field, Corey Kluber (3-9, 3.64 ERA) and Vincent Velasquez (0-0, 4.21 ERA) get the ball. The Astros won the last game 9-4 and Houston leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jul. 7 and will air on ROOT-SW and STO.
In his last start, Kluber pitched 8.0 innings, allowing three runs (one unearned), striking out 14 and walking one in a 5-4 loss to the Rays. Jason Kipnis (.340, 56 Rs, 6 HRs, 36 RBIs, 10 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI. The Astros were unsuccessful to the Royals 6-5 the last time Velasquez pitched. He went 6.1 innings, giving up four runs, striking out seven and walking one. Jose Altuve (.303, 43 Rs, 7 HRs, 36 RBIs, 24 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Astros, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
Cleveland is a considerable -184 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. When playing as the favorite, the Indians have a 25-27 record and overall money line at -1,399. They are 5-5 SU and perfect as the favorite (3-0) in their last 10 games. The Indians typically don't swing at bad pitches, which has led to an AL-high 4.0 walks per home game. Over their past 10 games, Cleveland's pitchers have been playing lights out, only allowing 3.2 runs per game, below their season average of 4.3. The have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, leading the AL with 9.2 strikeouts per game.
On the other side, the Astros have a record of 24-18 when they are the underdog and are +969 overall with the money line. They have played poorly as the underdog as of late. They managed a 1-3 record when playing as the underdog and an SU record of 6-4. They sport the second-ranked offense in the AL, averaging four runs per game. One of the top road hitting teams in the AL are the Astros, who average 9.0 hits in games away from home. The Astros have racked up 68 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. The Astros are a problem for opposing batters, sporting a 3.80 ERA on the road this season. They have a WHIP of 1.20 on the year, good for third in the league.
This game will feature Velasquez (RHP) on the mound against the Indians, who have a 26-24 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Kluber will take the mound against the Astros, who have a 31-19 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CLE, O/U - Over
Cleveland has won 52% (13-12) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Houston has won 59% (20-14) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Indians are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 12 strikeouts. The Astros have a record of 10-11 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 6-33. The Astros have a 10-25 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Houston has hit 120 this season. Cleveland ranks 21st with 68 home runs.
Ranking 13th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.13 per game. Cleveland ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 8.37.
Ranking 17th, Cleveland is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.709). Houston ranks in the top 10 at sixth with an OPS of .740.
The Astros are 18-25 when they allow at least one home run. The Indians perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 24-35 record.