The Houston Astros opened this exciting interleague series with a big statement win, and they’ll be looking to secure a series win tonight. We’ll preview the matchup for today before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
After a relatively slow start to the season, the Houston Astros have kicked into gear as they are 9-1 over their last ten games and just took game one of this series with a 12-2 victory. Houston knocked around Corbin Burnes and the Brewers' bullpen for 15 hits, which included five home runs. Yordan Alvarez left the yard twice, including a grand slam to bring his RBI total for the game to five and his total on the season up to 46.
As the Astros look to continue their winning ways, they will send young right-hander J.P France to the mound for his fourth career start. In 15.3 innings, France has pitched to a 4.11 ERA with ten strikeouts and four walks. The right-hander was impressive in his first two starts but faltered a little in his most recent outing as he lasted just 3 ⅔ innings while allowing six earned runs.
France will face a Brewers lineup that picked up just six hits yesterday while striking out nine times. Milwaukee’s success at the plate in their home ballpark has not been very strong up to this point, as their average at home fell to .234. Last night, the only real offensive highlight for the Brewers was a Rowdy Tellez solo home run.
Colin Rea will get the ball for the Brewers tonight, as he is set to make his seventh start of the season. In 31 innings up to this point, Rea has managed a 5.52 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 13 walks. His latest start was not a long outing as he went 3 ⅔ innings with three strikeouts and four earned runs allowed, so the hunt for his first win of the season is still on.
The Astros are currently priced at (-135) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Houston has been a solid-hitting team on the road and has a lot of momentum heading into tonight. Neither pitcher is coming off a strong outing, but I think France gives Houston a slight edge in the pitching matchup as well.
Milwaukee is 26th in BAbip and 14th wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home, and although France has only made three starts, his hard-hit percentage is still in the 71st percentile. Additionally, France has thrown better on the road, as he has pitched to a .77 ERA in 11.2 road innings. Once France comes out of the game, I trust the Houston bullpen, which has the second-best expected FIP in the league, can hold a lead.
Colin Rea is in the 24th percentile in hard hit percentage, 42nd percentile in expected slugging percentage, and has a 6.91 ERA at home this season, so he’s an ideal starter for a surging Astros lineup to face. Houston has the 8th-best wRC+ and 10th-best wOBA against righties on the road, so I think they can push runs against Rea and the Brewers bullpen that is 26th in expected FIP.
Houston Astros (-135)