2017 MLB Betting: Teams Poised to Run Away With Their Divisions

Atlanta at Houston Pro Baseball Betting Analysis & Pick

Written by on May 9, 2017

It’s the conclusion of a quick two-game interleague series on Wednesday when Atlanta visits Houston. With the game being played in the American League park, the Braves will get to add the designated hitter. The Braves are coming a terrible series loss against the St. Louis Cardinals, ending it at 0-3. For the Astros, they’re coming off a 3 game series this past weekend, ending it with a winning effort at 2-1 . Houston will be an pro baseball betting favorite.

Atlanta at Houston Pro Baseball Betting Analysis & Pick

When: Wednesday, May 10, 2:10 PM ET Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston Probable pitchers (away/home): Jamie Garcia/Joe Musgrove TV: MLB Extra Innings Stream: MLB.tv RadioAtlanta / Houston Opening MLB Lines: TBA

Why Bet On Atlanta?

The Braves will not be promoting Ryan Howard from Triple-A Gwinnett to serve as a designated hitter in this series. The former National League Most Valuable Player Award winner has hit .184 with one extra-base hit (a home run) through 11 games with Gwinnett. The Braves have been a little better than expected despite a disappointing season from top prospect and shortstop Dansby Swanson. Swanson owned a .181 BABIP — the fourth-lowest mark among qualified Major Leaguers — before he was given both a physical and mental break by being left out of Saturday night’s starting lineup. The 23-year- old shortstop has recorded a team-high 10 hard-hit outs. Statcast™ data shows Swanson ranks second on the Braves with 19 balls put in play with an exit velocity of at least 100 mph. But he has recorded just a .474 batting average (9-for- 19) in these at-bats. For context, Freddie Freeman (.846; 22-for- 26), Tyler Flowers (.833; 10-for- 12) and Matt Kemp (.824; 14-for-17) all entered Saturday with a batting average above .800 on balls hit with an exit velocity of at least 100 mph. It’s lefty Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.99) on the mound for the Braves. Garcia allowed two runs on three hits and five walks while striking out three batters over six innings during his last official outing, a win over Milwaukee. It was a solid outing from Garcia, as the Brewers have scored the third-most runs in the majors. Garcia has allowed exactly two runs in each of his past three outings for a 2.95 ERA. His 5.2 K/9 and 13.5 strikeout percentage for the year aren’t great, but Garcia’s smoke-and- mirrors pitch arsenal can clearly still keep hitters off balance. Garcia started last Thursday’s game against the Mets that was halted by rain in the fourth inning so that wasn’t an official outing.

Why Bet On Houston?

Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve is starting to heat up. Altuve went 2-for- 4 with a three-run home run in Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Angels. Entering the top of the fourth, the Astros trailed 2-0. They would flip that score via a four-run frame against Matt Shoemaker, with the big blow coming on the three-run homer by Altuve. The dinger was his fifth of the season. Three of those have come in his last 10 games. Altuve is working to a .304/.377/.478 triple-slash with nine steals, 14 RBI and 19 runs scored through 115 at-bats. Astros manager A.J. Hinch held him out of the starting lineup in Saturday’s game, and Altuve — who hates to be out of the lineup — admitted it helped him. “Sometimes a day off does well for him mentally,” Hinch said. “He physically needed it and mentally needed it. He came out of it with Altuve-type things, which is being the best player on the field. The big three-run homer was obviously a huge momentum shift from their dugout to our dugout by taking the lead.” Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez is 13 for his last 28 with six home runs and two doubles and only two strikeouts to four walks. Former Braves fixture and Astros catcher Brian McCann has played against Atlanta only three games in his career, each in 2015 while he was a member of the New York Yankees. It’s Joe Musgrove (1-3, 5.40) on the mound for the Astros. Musgrove was ineffective Thursday against the Rangers, surrendering five runs — four earned — in four innings. The Rangers avoided a series sweep by taking advantage of enough of Musgrove’s mistakes. The right-hander’s command, particularly with two strikes on batters, was spotty. He gave up four hits and three runs on two-strike counts. Musgrove was coming off his best start of the year against the A’s. Musgrove has only one quality start this year in six outings.

Atlanta at Houston Pro Baseball Betting Pick: Atlanta Braves

Musgrove is 0-3 with a 5.31 ERA in four home starts this season.