Starting Pitchers: New York (Schwinden) vs. Houston (Rodriguez)
Date/Time: May 2, 2:05 PM EST
Television: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds from BetOnline
Moneyline: Houston (-133) New York (+123)
The Houston Astros might not be a very good team, but they are definitely not easy to beat with Wandy Rodriguez on the mound at home. The Mets were beaten 6-3 last night when Jon Niese was hit hard early by the Astros. Houston also won the series opener, so the Mets will be looking to avoid the sweep against the lowly Astros. MLB Network will have coverage of this game.
New York came into this series having won five of six games, but the offense has taken a step back in Houston. The Mets have finished with three runs in each of the first two games, and their offensive struggles have been largely due to their inability to convert with runners in scoring position. David Wright is hitting .395 so far this year. Wright has a great eye at the plate, as evidenced by his 16 walks compared to just 14 strikeouts. Jason Bay is on the disabled list, and Lucas Duda missed last night’s game with an illness. Ike Davis is a guy that the Mets really need to pick it up.
Chris Schwinden has started just one game this year, and it didn’t go well at all. He allowed five earned runs in just four innings pitched. That game was at Coors Field, so the team hopes he can bounce back here. The Mets defense was expected to be bad, and they have been precisely that. The Mets have already committed 22 errors in 2012.
Wandy Rodriguez has a terrific track record at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Rodriguez has managed to go 43-31 with a 3.38 ERA at this venue despite playing for some terrible teams during that time. Wandy does it with a great curveball and the ability to locate all of his pitches. So far this year, Rodriguez has a stellar ERA of just 1.72.
The Astros have been surprisingly good on offense so far this year. Most expected this team to be near the bottom of the league in offensive categories, but they are averaging 4.58 runs per game thus far in 2012. Jose Altuve is the spark for this offense. Altuve is hitting .367, and he has a stellar on-base-percentage of .414. Jordan Schafer is a guy who can do a lot of damage on the base paths if he gets on base. He already has eight stolen bases. Carlos Lee has been injured of late, but he was back in the lineup yesterday.
The Mets are 0-5 in Schwinden’s last 5 starts. The over is also 5-0 in his last 5 starts. New York is 8-3 in their last 11 as an underdog of +110 to +150.
The Astros are 9-3 in Rodriguez’s last 12 home starts against a team with a winning record. The over is 4-0 in Rodriguez’s last 4 home starts. The over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
MLB Free Pick: Over 8