GAME INFORMATION: 10:10 P.M., TUESDAY, AUGUST 3 AT DODGER STADIUM, LOS ANGELES
BETTING ODDS: ASTROS +145/DODGERS -175
TOTALS: OVER 8.5 -110/UNDER 8.5 -110
STARTERS: LANCE MCCULLERS (RHP, 8-2, 3.23 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) vs. WALKER BUEHLER (RHP, 11-1, 2.19 ERA, 0.90 WHIP)
The Astros didn’t do the Dodgers any favors in San Francisco, losing both games to the Giants and keeping Los Angeles stuck in second place in the NL West. Now the Dodgers get their shot at Houston with both barrels, as they’ll lead with Buehler in the opener and follow with Max Scherzer in the second game.
The Astros counter with McCullers, who has yet to lose on the road this season and brings a 6-0 record and 3.09 ERA away from into this matchup. But McCullers hasn’t exactly pitched well in his past two outings and only got the win in his past road start because the offense buried Seattle in the first four innings. That isn’t likely to repeat against Buehler, who hasn’t given up more than three runs in a start since May 11.
MAIN BET: DODGERS ML, -175
The value sucks on this game, but it’s hard to see any other way this goes, given how well Buehler has pitched over the past five weeks. The Dodgers’ ace has won four of his past six starts with a pair of no-decisions, and he was nothing short of brilliant in his most recent outing, an 8-0 rout of San Francisco. The only way to get value on the Dodgers is the run line, but it’s hard to predict a blowout with McCullers’ past eight starts resulting in either a win or a one-run loss.
INNINGS BET: UNDER 4.5, -120
Leaving out his past two starts, McCullers has actually done his job quite well in recent appearances, as eight of his past 10 starts have seen him hold the opposition to three runs or less. With Buehler dealing right now, it’s pretty unlikely that we see many fireworks against either starter.
TOTALS BET: UNDER 8.5, -110
The reason I’d rather bet the innings bet instead of the total is because of the L.A. bullpen, as I’m a bit worried that the Dodgers will give the game away at the end. But Buehler is pitching so well that it might not matter, and if he holds Houston to two runs or less, the Astros probably won’t be able to get enough off the Dodger bullpen to send this game over the number. Buehler has only seen a number this high in five starts all season, and four of them went under the total, so that’s how I’ll play this one.