Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros Game 2 Pick
Time: 4:35 PM ET
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Listed Pitchers: Carlos Carrasco (Cle) vs. Gerrit Cole (Hous)
Moneyline: Indians +140/Astros -150
The defending World Series champion Houston Astros got this year’s playoffs off to a winning start, taking the opener of their AL divisional-round series with Cleveland Friday. How are we playing Saturday’s Game 2 with our daily free MLB picks?
MLB Playoffs Betting Line
Saturday’s MLB betting odds opened the Astros at around -145 for Game 2, with an over/under of 7 runs. Early betting action then bumped that line about a nickel, to around -150.
Houston could also be found getting around +145 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Game 2 Set-Up
The Astros took Game 1 of this series Friday afternoon 7-2, cashing in as a -135 favorite with Justin Verlander. That game was scoreless into the bottom of the fourth, when Alex Bregman hit the first of four solo Houston homers on the day. The Astros led 4-0 at one point, let the Indians get within 4-2, then tacked three runs on the Cleveland bullpen to secure the victory.
Also, Friday’s game played over a total of 6.5 runs.
Houston finished 12 games ahead of the Tribe in the regular-season standings, winning 103 games. The Astros also took the regular-season series from Cleveland four games to three, outscoring the Indians 45-29.
Cole (15-5, 2.88), by our strict standards, is 20/32 on quality starts this season, and three for his last five. Eight days ago he held Baltimore to one run through six innings, and over his last five starts he’s allowed 10 runs and 25 hits through 29 2/3 innings, with 42 strikeouts. On the season Houston is a very solid 24-8 with Cole, and 6-0 over his last six outings.
In one start this season against the Indians Cole allowed three runs and four hits through seven innings, with eight strikeouts, although the Astros eventually lost that game 10-9.
Carrasco (17-10, 3.38) is 17/30 on quality starts this year, and also three for his last five. Last Sunday, in a meaningless game against Kansas City, Carrasco allowed one run and three hits through five innings, and over his last five starts he’s allowed nine earned runs and 23 hits through 31 innings, with 44 strikeouts. On the season Cleveland is 18-12 with Carrasco, although only 2-4 over his last six outings.
In two starts this season against the Astros Carrasco got nicked for eight runs and 15 hits, including three ding-dongs, through 13 1/3 innings. The Indians managed to split those two games.
We were already giving Cole the edge in this pitching match-up, and Carrasco’s past performance against Houston this season knocked it up a notch.
Saturday’s Batting Splits
Cleveland posted a .260/.332/.445 team batting average/OBP/slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season.
Houston put up a .246/.323/.410 slash against right-handed pitching this year.
We’ll give the Indians a short edge in the splits with the sticks for Saturday.
The Cleveland bullpen posted a 4.60 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP, while going 41/58 on save opportunities.
The Astros pen put up a 3.03 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP this season, both of which led the Majors, while going 46/67 on save conversions.
So Houston gets a big check-mark in the comparison of the bullpens.
Unders played 42-37 at Minute Maid Park this year, as Houston home games averaged 8.2 runs per.
Overs are 6-2 in Indians-Astros games this season.
Free MLB Picks
We’re giving Houston a star and a half with our main baseball handicapping factors here, so we’re betting the Astros. And in hoping Houston can tack on some insurance against this Cleveland bullpen we’ll take a chance and give the run and a half against the run line. Editors Note: Guys one betting account isn’t enough to win at this game. You need multiple sportsbook accounts to shop for the best lines. Get started in your research by checking out our list of the top rated sportsbooks.