In the second installment of their 2020 rivalry, the Dodgers and Astros face off Wednesday night in Houston. For the Dodgers, Dustin May will be making his second start of the year after conceding 2 runs in 4.1 innings against the Giants. Meanwhile, Astros’ righty Christian Javier will be making his first career start after pitching 1 inning in relief last year.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas – 7:10 PM EST
Game Info/Starting Pitchers:
LAD: Dustin May – R (Last Season: 2.90 FIP, 3.63 ERA, 0.9 WAR, 34.2 IP)
HOU: Christian Javier – R (2.91 FIP, 2.07 ERA, 74 IP–AA Corpus Christi)
Odds & Betting lines (via DraftKings)
Total: 9.5 | Over: -115 | Under: -105
LAD | Moneyline: -135 | Run Line (-1.5): +115
HOU | Moneyline: +115 | Run Line (+1.5): -136
LAD: IL: SP Clayton Kershaw, RP Jimmy Nelson, C Keibert Ruiz; Restricted List: SP David Price
HOU: IL: SP Justin Verlander, DH Yordan Alvarez, SP Jose Urquidy, RP Cionel Perez; Restricted List: RP Joe Smith
Ready to Rake
While their offense hasn’t been quite laying waste to opposing pitching staffs, this Dodger lineup is on the verge of a hot streak. The players in their regular lineup combine for a 128 wRC+ (based on their time on the Dodgers and Betts’ career in Boston), which would easily be the best in the league. Some ‘unders’ may have returned value for you, but it won’t last for long.
Although Houston is expected to start Christian Javier, it could quickly become a bullpen day for them. If needed, Javier would be used as a reliever prior to his start, so it’s clear that Houston isn’t relying on him for many innings.
HOU +1.5 (-136)
While it does seem as if this game is setting up for another Dodgers victory, Houston’s talent shouldn’t be neglected. After all, this team led the league with a 125 wRC+ last year. Even without Yordan Alvarez healthy, this team can rake.
Starting pitcher concerns are also less urgent in this format. Once Javier is out of gas, the team can turn to a parade of relievers. They may not be great, but all else equal, relievers out-pitch starters. Now with 30 man rosters, the Astros have a safety net in their bullpen. Plus, while there are no fans, home-field advantage shouldn’t be completely neglected here (travel, routine, and familiarity remain important).