MLB Picks: Indians vs. Astros Prediction
Date: Wednesday, July 21
Time: 8:10pm ET
Where: Minute Maid Park
Indians vs. Astros Probable Pitchers:
- Indians: Eli Morgan (1-3, 7.86 ERA)
- Astros: Lance McCullers (7-2, 2.80 ERA)
Cleveland Indians vs. Houston Astros Prediction
The Astros are currently 58-38 on the season and will take on a Cleveland Indians team that is hanging on around .500. The Indians need their starters back and until then, it’s going to be hard to win consistently.
Eli Morgan is slated to take the hill for the Indians. He’s 1-3 with a 7.86 ERA. In July, he allowed 12 hits with six runs in just 10 innings of work. He struck out nine batters and walked three while also allowing three home runs.
Morgan will get strikeouts but he’s more of a fly ball pitcher. In 26.1 innings, he’s allowed 35 hits with nine of those becoming home runs.
His WHIP sits at 1.52 and he’s allowing an average of .310 to hitters along with a BABIP of .342. Morgan won’t walk the world but when he’s hit, he’s hit hard. He’s getting just 22 percent of ground balls as of late and allowing 45.8 percent hard contact.
Lefties are hitting a .362 wOBA in his last 38 plate appearances with a .243 ISO. Meanwhile, righties are hitting a .345 wOBA in his last 46 plate appearances with an ISO of .318.
When Morgan isn’t getting strikeouts, he’s getting rocked and that’s something the Astros have already introduced to him earlier this season.
In a start on July 3, Morgan went five innings and allowed five hits with three runs. Two of those runs came on solo home runs and he only had three strikeouts in the game.
The Astros are very good at limiting strikeouts and with that, more balls will be in play and that bodes well for the Astros lineup. The Astros also only strike out 18.6 percent of the time against righties on the season using the projected lineup. They’re also walking 9.6 percent and are more patient at the plate.
This team doesn’t hit many ground balls to begin with and they’ve got plenty of guys in the lineup who hit the ball hard. While the Astros haven’t been the best offensively as of late, I’d expect runs early for this team.
Meanwhile, Lance McCullers will take the hill for the Astros. He’s been lights out with a 7-2 record and a 2.80 ERA. McCullers struck out 26 batters in his last three starts and one of those starts was against the Indians. In that start, he wasn’t perfect. Instead he allowed six hits and two runs with four walks and eight strikeouts.
McCullers struggles with command at times and will walk a solid chunk of batters but he can make up for it with his high strikeout and ground ball rate to strand runners.
The Indians lineup only walks 7.9 percent of the time and they also hit 45.6 percent ground balls. As long as McCullers can throw strikes, he has a chance at another quality start.
However, I’ve seen this play out plenty of times. When a starter has a solid match-up against the opposition, they struggle and the game becomes a slugfest.
With that, I’ll take the Astros in the first five innings on the team total of 2.5. They got three against Morgan last time out and should have no problems doing that again.