Brewers vs. Astros MLB Best Bet: Houston to Lasso Rea Back Down to Earth

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Jake Meyers #6 of the Houston Astros hits a two-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning at Minute Maid Park on May 17, 2024. Jack Gorman/Getty Images/AFP

We have the normal full Sunday card of Major League Baseball betting matchups, with 14 games in the afternoon plus Sunday Night Baseball. And here we are with the three plays we feel have the most betting value at the current MLB odds offered by the top-rated sportsbooks.

These value-bets are based mostly on our proprietary model, and our day begins early at 2:10 ET with the model favoring one side in the Brewers vs. Astros matchup.

Check out our other best bet for today:

MLB Best Bet: Astros ML (-121) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Astros ML (-121)
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Milwaukee Brewers vs. Houston Astros

Sunday, May 19, 2024 – 02:10 PM ET at Minute Maid Park

We are not believers of Colin Rea of the Brewers and his nice ERA, so we are backing Spencer Arrighetti and the seemingly undervalued Astros as small home favorites.

Do Not Trust the ERA

Rea enters this contest at 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA, but remember we are talking about a 33-year-old here who has never posted an ERA lower than 4.26. Even worse, that came in his rookie season way back in 2015! More importantly, his underlying metrics point to the ERA being fraudulent, starting with his xFIP being nearly a full run higher at 4.35.

Colin has a weak K/BB ratio of 6.09/2.64 per nine innings, and he does not throw particularly hard with his fastball at 92.9 MPH. He has been extremely hittable with a poor swinging-strike rate of 7.6%, but he has benefited in the Luck department with a low BABIP allowed of .262 and a very high strand rate of 80.2%.

That strand rate, particularly, seems unsustainable for a non-strikeout guy, and he is facing a Houston offense with a potent wRC+ of 110 against righties.

Playing Better

The Astros have been perennial championship contenders, but they got off to a terrible start this season and still sit six games below .500 at 20-26. However, they are starting to come around going 8-2 in the last 10 games and could be a very dangerous team the rest of the way. And the performance of Arrighetti has mirrored that of his team.

Yes, Spencer is 1-4 with a dreadful 7.52 ERA, but his xFIP of 4.33 lines up with Rea, and, like his team, he has been better lately after a poor start. He allowed only two runs and five hits last time out, and he has now allowed exactly two runs in three of his last five starts with a very nice strikeout rate of 10.41/9 over those five outings.

Those strikeouts could continue to pile up here against a Milwaukee offense that has stuck out 23.4% of the time.

MLB Best Bet

The bottom line here is you may not be able to back the Astros at prices as cheap as this at home for much longer if they continue their current trajectory. And with both starters sporting nearly equal xFIPs despite misleading ERAs, take advantage by buying low on the Astros at home.

Predicted Score: Astros 5 – Brewers 3

MLB Best Bet: Astros ML (-121) at BetOnline

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Astros ML (-121)
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*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.