It’s a potential World Series preview and matchup of West Division leaders on Friday night to kick off a terrific weekend interleague series as the Houston Astros visit the San Francisco Giants. Behind Kevin Gausman, the Giants are short favorites on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Astros at Giants MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 10:10 PM ET
- Where: Oracle Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Framber Valdez/Kevin Gausman
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Giants -110, Astros +100 (total 7.5)
Why Bet on Houston?
The Astros have gone 47-26 vs. teams with .500-or-better records this season, which are the most wins and is the best winning pct. Against .500+ opponents by any team in MLB. Against teams below .500, the Astros have gone 16-14.
The Astros fortified their bullpen with two trades this week in landing Kendall Graveman from Seattle an Yimi Garcia from Miami. Graveman is 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 saves in 30 appearances this year. HE has not allowed an earned run in his past 12 appearances. Garcia had 15 saves for the Marlins this season and is 3-7 with a 3.47 ERA. He has struck out 35 and walked just five batters in 36⅓ innings pitched. Closer Ryan Pressly has been great for Houston this year but overall the bullpen has been shaky.
It’s Framber Valdez (6-2) on the mound. Valdez fired six innings of no-hit, shutout ball in a victory over the Rangers last Saturday. Valdez did issue six free passes while striking out four. An elevated pitch count of 99 (53 strikes) led to his early exit despite working on the no-hitter.
Valdez teetered on the brink of disaster early on, walking four of the first seven batters he faced. However, he reigned in his control and regained his composure, retiring 14 of the final 16 batters. It was an impressive bounce-back performance for Valdez, who entered the game having given up 11 earned runs over his previous 15.1 innings.
Still, he has walked 21 batters in 28 1/3 innings in his last five starts. He has a 4.13 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and 6.67 walks per nine innings in that span. In his first five starts (he missed the first two months after fracturing his finger), he walked just nine in 38 1/3 innings with a 2.11 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 2.11 walks per nine.
“I think what happens is, I focus too much on not giving up the walk,” he said. “I have a little bit of fear sometimes of not throwing that second ball, not throwing that third ball, and that causes me to get in situations where I’m not on top of my control exactly. It’s something that I, myself, can change. I have the power to change that and control that. I can make the adjustments and change my mindset, and things will come out better for me.”
One pitch immediately jumps out as a problem: Changeup. Opposing batters are batting .333 and slugging .604 against the pitch that Valdez uses 19.3% of the time, while smashing four home runs on 45 batted balls. Valdez’s sinker, the pitch he uses most often (40.6%), is also being hit for a .300 average, though with less power than the changeup. Overall on the season, he has a 2.97 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
Why Bet on San Francisco?Monitor the status of All-Star catcher Buster Posey. He left Wednesday’s game early against the Dodgers after the veteran was struck by a foul ball on his mask and didn’t play Thursday. Concussion tests did come back negative. First baseman Brandon Belt and third baseman Evan Longoria are on the injured list, but shortstop Brandon Crawford was activated off that for Thursday’s game. He boasts a .286/.363/.546 slash line with 18 home runs, 58 RBI, seven stolen bases, and 49 runs scored as of Thursday.
San Francisco is averaging 1.50 home runs per game in 2021, the second-best average in the Majors this year behind the Blue Jays (1.55) and has scored 52.7% of their runs off home runs, most in the Majors.
It’s Kevin Gausman (9-4) on the mound for the Giants. Gausman surrendered six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in last Saturday’s 10-2 loss to the Pirates. In addition to the eight hits allowed, the veteran right-hander also walked four. He surrendered three runs over the first three innings and three more, including a Gregory Polanco home run and Kevin Newman two-run single, in the fifth. The six earned runs were a season-worst and the four free passes matched another low.
“He just didn’t have enough control of his split-finger fastball,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I don’t think he has his usual control or command right now.”
In his first 18 starts prior to the All-Star break, he posted a 9-3 record with a 1.73 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 133:30 K/BB ratio over 114 2/3 innings. He only allowed eight home runs over that span as well. In his last two starts, post All-Star break, he’s put up a 9.82 ERA, 2.45 WHIP, and 7:7 K.BB ratio while allowing three home runs over 7 1/3 innings. Gausman thinks it’s a mechanical issue that he can correct. On the season, he still has a 2.21 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP with a 10.3 K/9 in 122 innings.
The Giants pitching staff has a 46.5% ground-ball percentage this year, second-best in the Majors behind Milwaukee (46.5%).
- Astros are 47-18 in their last 65 games following an off day.
- Astros are 13-5 in their last 18 road games.
- Giants are 8-1 in their last 9 Friday games.
- Giants are 9-2 in their last 11 interleague home games.
- Astros are 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
- Under is 7-0 in the last 7 meetings in San Francisco.
- Astros 3, Giants 2
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