Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Minute Maid Park
When: Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 8:10 pm ET
We have an American League matchup on Wednesday night to discuss when the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros meet for game three of a four-game scheduled series. This preview was written prior to the start of Tuesday night’s meeting between the two clubs and all opinions are based on the stats from Monday night’s MLB action.
Detroit is last in the American League Central and left-hander Daniel Norris is the Tigers, probable starting pitcher against Houston on Wednesday night. Houston is first in the American League West and right-hander Justin Verlander is the Astros probable starter against Detroit.
Tigers Three Game Losing Streak
The Tigers record of 37-85 sums up the entire season for Detroit; they are in rebuilding mode and don’t win very much nor were they expected to win many games this season. Being 37.5 games out of first place in the Central must be difficult for the club and being 34 games out in the American League Wild Card race means their season is finished at game 162. The Tigers have lost seven of their last 10 games and enter Tuesday night hoping to end a three-game losing streak. Detroit has been outscored this season by 233 runs and has a 20-42 record away from Comerica Park.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 20, 2019
Norris (3-10, 4.82) has a 1.41 WHIP and his 4.67 xFIP suggests maybe, besides playing for the Tigers, Norris has been unlucky and could see some slight, positive regression headed his way at some point this season. Norris has allowed 10 earned runs over his last 21 innings pitched and strikes out 7.66 per nine innings pitched with 2.55 walks and 1.68 home runs per nine innings pitched this season.
Houston has scored 21 runs over their past five games and scores an average of 5.52 runs per game with 97 home runs this season at Minute Maid Park and has hammered 53 bombs against left-handed pitching this season.
Houston Two Game Winning Streak
The Astros are doing everything the pre-season pundits they would and in danger of running away with the American League West and hold an eight-game lead over the Oakland Athletics. Houston made a couple of big moves at the deadline, acquiring Zach Greinke and Aaron Sanchez to shore up the starting pitching staff as they head into September. Houston has lost six of their last 10 games and enters Tuesday night riding a two-game winning streak. The Astros have outscored its opponents by an American League-leading 179 runs and boast a record of 44-15 at Minute Maid Park this season.
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 20, 2019
Infielder Carlos Correa tweaked his back and is listed as day to day. Correa has a .358 OBP with 19 home runs and 56 RBI over 270 at-bats this season.
Verlander (15-4, 2.81) has an elite, 0.84 WHIP and his 3.40 xFIP suggests maybe Verlander has been a bit lucky and could see some regression at some point this season. The 14-year veteran has allowed seven earned runs over his previous 31 innings pitched with four of those earned runs coming last week against the Orioles. Verlander strikes out 12.09 per nine innings pitched with 1.80 walks and 1.64 home runs per nine innings pitched.
Detroit has scored 12 runs over their last five games and averaged 3.82 runs per game with 68 bombs away from Comerica Park and has hammered 89 dingers against right-handed pitching this season.
- Astros are 5-1 in Verlander’s last 6 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
- Astros are 5-1 in Verlander’s last 6 starts with 4 days of rest.
- Astros are 4-1 in Verlander’s last 5 home starts.
- Tigers are 7-27 in Norris’ last 34 starts on grass.
- Tigers are 3-14 in Norris’ last 17 starts with 4 days of rest.
- Tigers are 1-6 in Norris’ last 7 starts vs. American League West.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This should be a relatively easy victory for Verlander and Houston but we thought that same thing two starts ago with Verlander against the Orioles. Houston lost that game and Verlander got lit up like the Fourth of July. So huge favorites like Houston will be Wednesday can and do lose baseball games they aren’t supposed to lose.
I don’t think Verlander is going to lose to Detroit at Minute Maid Park Wednesday night. In fact, I see the Astros burying Detroit. I don’t see the Tigers bats being very effective against Verlander and in fact, is the worst offense in baseball against right-handed pitching with a 26.3 percent strikeout rate. Verlander should feast on the Tigers.
Norris doesn’t have the dominating stuff necessary to beat a team like Houston. The Astros are the best team in baseball against left-handed pitching with a .226 ISO.
I’m playing Houston on the run line Wednesday.
Prediction: Astros -1.5 Runs
Full-Game Total Pick
The total hasn’t been posted and I’m a little leary of recommending this play until I see the total because I do see Houston smacking Norris and Detroit around the yard and I don’t see the Tigers doing much of anything against Verlander Wednesday night.
Detroit has scored just 12 runs over their last five games and up against a possibly the best pitcher in the American League who leads the American League with a 0.84 WHIP.
Norris has allowed his share of runs this season and over his last two starts he lasted just three innings before being pulled and I look for similar production Wednesday.
I’m leaning on playing the UNDER on Wednesday.