First pitch: 9:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Robbie Ray (0-2, 8.64 ERA)
Houston Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Predictions
The stats may not look pretty after two turns through the rotation but there should be no doubt that both McCullers and Ray will get back in their groove.
Ray, an All-Star a few years ago, has continued to provide steady work since his Midsummer Classic honor and only a season ago, finished tied for third in all of baseball with a sparkling 12.1 K/9 mark.
While the success isn’t there yet, the strikeouts have remained at least, as Ray has accumulated 11 K’s in 8.1 innings total.
He’s also walking batters at a hefty rate but Ray has dealt with bouts of this before, only to persevere each time while maintaining his high strikeout rate.
The fact that George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman are hovering around the Mendoza Line may provide a boost as well. If Ray continues to be a little wild, he can still get by if those key hitters are pressing and a little jumpy at his great stuff.
McCullers is the other starter in this affair and he, too, has what can definitely be described as “great stuff.” It’s been on display thus far in his first two big league starts back from Tommy John surgery — but like with his counterpart this evening, so, too, have been the free passes.
In a way, the Astro right-hander is like a mirror reflection of Ray; high punch-out tallies but a little too much extra traffic on the base paths due to the walks issued.
Even so, this looks like the spot for McCullers to put it all together with his overpowering arsenal. The Diamondbacks have not gotten it going yet offensively, hitting just .194 as a team to tie them for dead last in the National League with the Pittsburgh Pirates. They’re also scoring only 2.64 runs per game, making this an enticing spot to lean on McCullers to keep the bats subdued.
MLB Picks & Leans August 5
LEAN: TOR/ATL Over 9
LEAN: CHC/KC Under 9
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 3-7-2, -4.86 units
Yesterday’s Result: Pirates-Twins Under 9 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit