The Indians have emerged as strong AL contenders, now sitting at 62-43. 1st Baseman Carlos Santana has been stellar all season, leading the squad with 22 home runs and 57 RBI in 102 appearances. 3rd Baseman Jose Ramirez has been a capable deputy, adding 14 home runs and 55 RBI of his own. Probable pitcher Shane Bieber is having an excellent campaign, going 10-3 with a 3.44 ERA.
The Astros have a case as the best team in baseball, with recent form taking them to 68-39. Alex Bregman and George Springer have led the way offensively all season, now combining for 50 home runs on the year. Yuri Gurriel has also been huge of late, taking the team lead with 65 RBI. The legendary Justin Verlander will take the mound here, going 13-4 with a 2.86 ERA so far.
Prediction: Astros $1.77
Any time I can get Verlander with this Houston team at this price, I’m inclined to take it. Cleveland’s batting lineup is very top-heavy and I’m not sure they’ve got what it takes against one of the best pitchers in the majors. Despite Bieber’s recent form, Houston has the batting depth and versatility to succeed against him. With both of these factors, I like Houston at strong $1.77 odds.
The Rangers have been solid yet unspectacular so far, sitting at .500 with a 53-53 record. Joey Gallo has had another strong season when healthy, leading the team with 22 home runs in 70 appearances. 2nd Baseman Rougned Odor has also been a consistent contributor, producing a clubhouse-leading 58 RBI so far. Ariel Jurado is slated to pitch here, going 6-6 with a 4.83 ERA this season.
A recent sweep of Detroit has taken Seattle to a more respectable 46-63. 1st Baseman Dan Vogelbach has emerged as a very solid slugger, putting up 25 home runs and 63 RBI this season. Left Fielder Domingo Santana leads the team with 66 RBI, adding 20 home runs for good measure. Mike Leake will pitch here, going 9-8 with a 4.25 ERA so far.
Prediction: Rangers $1.77
I think Seattle’s recent sweep of Detroit is really just smoke and mirrors, which has inflated their value in the betting market. While these two pitchers are evenly matched, I prefer the Rangers bullpen and batting lineup. Combine this with a stellar home field advantage and they look good value at $1.77.