Astros vs. Athletics MLB Best Bet: Astronomical Houston Scoring Keys Over

profile image of LTProfits

We have a typically full 15-game slate of Major League Baseball betting matchups for Friday with all the betting action coming at night.

As usual, we have three best bets for today’s slate with the highest betting value according to the current MLB odds provided by the top-rated sportsbooks.

These best bets are based mostly on our proprietary model. Our model points to a total in the Bay Area Friday with the Astros visiting the Athletics.

For additional MLB best bets from our experts:

And if you’re looking for even more value picks, make sure to visit our YouTube channel. This time, our expert covered this game as well as Friday’s Cubs vs. Cardinals.

Top MLB Pick: Over 8.5 (-103) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

Heritage Sports logo
Over 8.5 (-103)
Visit Site

Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics

Friday, May 24, 2024 – 09:40 PM ET at Oakland Coliseum

Expect a high-scoring game and a safe Over Friday when Justin Verlander and the resurgent Astros visit Ross Stripling and the Athletics.

End of the Line?

Stripling’s days as a reliable Major League starter may have come to an end. Now 34 years old, he is coming off an injury-plagued season for the Giants where he finished 0-5 with a 5.36 ERA. Well, he has not been any better while currently healthy in this first season with the Athletics. He is a dismal 1-8 with his 5.19 ERA being the sixth worst in baseball among pitchers with at least 50 innings.

He is still a predominant fastball pitcher with shaky command of his secondary pitches. The problem with that these days though is his velocity is down to 91.9 MPH. Thus, he has a career-low strikeout rate of 5.54/9 with his swinging-strike rate now well down in the single digits at just 8.4%.

The last thing Stripling needs is to be facing a hot Astros team that is starting to resemble its usual self after a terrible start. Houston is now up to fifth in the majors in wRC+ against righties at 115.

Not What He Was

Speaking of being at the end of the line, the same may soon be true also of Verlander. Sure, the 41-year-old is 2-2 with a respectable 3.97 ERA, but that is accompanied by a poor 5.22 xFIP. And while his velocity is still very good for his age at 94.2 MPH, his metrics show he has become more hittable, perhaps an indication that the fastball has lost its movement.

For evidence of that, look no further than the career-low strikeout rate of 6.88/9, and his swinging-strike rate of 9.1% is at its lowest point since 2014. Furthermore, Justin also has a career-high walk rate of 3.71/9.

The Pick

He is facing an Oakland offense that has been much improved since last season, now sitting a respectable 11th in wRC+ against right-handers at 104.

With this being a battle of two veteran pitchers with declining skills and two offenses on the upswing, go Over in Oakland.

Predicted Score: Astros 7 – Athletics 4

MLB Pick: Over 8.5 (-103) at Heritage Sports

Heritage Sports logo
Over 8.5 (-103)
Visit Site

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.