Though these teams have met several times since facing each other in the 2017 World Series, the hard feeling on the Dodgers side has not dissipated from the cheating scandal.
This should be a fun and exciting series starting on a Tuesday, with many storylines. We gave you the one in the open and next we should have two excellent starting pitchers. Houston will utilize Lance McCullers Jr. and Los Angeles will counter with Walker Beuhler.
However, no easy task for either hurler with the Astros the best offense in baseball and L.A. right behind them. Quality sportsbooks like GT Bets have the Dodgers at -170 when perusing their betting odds. This should be great theater, just like the Houston vs. San Francisco series that ended Sunday.
Houston Astros vs. L.A. Dodgers
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
Astros Offense Fine, Pitching Shaky of Late
Houston’s (64-42, +3.2 units) split its first six assignments on this road trip. As good as the offense has been all season at 5.5 runs per game, it’s been even better in the road uniforms on this sojourn at a sensational 7.5 RPG. You don’t score this many runs even in six games because of one hot bat, with this group it is a team effort. It is across the board with this contingent, with five players having 58 to 67 runs batted in and that does not include Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley.
At the same time, the .500 road record is explained by the Astros pitching staff permitting 7.0 RPG on this trip, which isn’t close to good enough. For Houston to win this matchup or the series, they will have to do better.
Dodgers Getting Healthy on Field
This past weekend saw the return of Mookie Betts and Corey Seager for manager Dave Roberts' club and they were no doubt a welcome sight to the Dodgers faithful. Next is blending newly acquired Trea Turner, probably this weekend from the Covid IL.
Just having Betts and Seager makes this offense so much more potentially stronger and let’s be honest, this allows everyone to relax knowing there is somebody to pick you up for a lineup that is averaging 5.2 RPG.
The concern remains pitching for Los Angeles (64-43, -6.5). Tonight’s starter Beuhler is a stud and so is Julio Urias. But with Tony Gonsolin on the IL with shoulder inflammation, that means even adding Max Scherzer, 40% of the Dodgers starts are bullpen games.
McCullers is having an excellent season at 8-2 with a 3.23 ERA. The velocity is up in his second year coming off Tommy John surgery, which is not uncommon. More than anything, the bite on his various curveballs is back. Last season his placement of the curve though often on the correct projectile, McCullers left it over the plate and was taken yard more often than in the past. This year, it’s back to normal as a swing and a miss pitch.
Beuhler (11-1, 2.19 ERA) is having another sensational season and because of his consistency, he’s not receiving the acclaim he deserves. The right-hander can spot the fastball up or down in the zone and when he throws breaking pitches, they are knee-bucklers after seeing heat.
This looks like an evenly matched game by the offenses and starting pitching. In digging deeper for MLB picks, we found Houston is 9-21 away after four or more consecutive road games, with McCullers and his mates 20-33 in the second half of the season.
Conversely, the Dodgers off their 13-0 drubbing of the D-Backs Sunday, they are 95-40 in home games after allowing one run or less in a win over a division rival and Beuhler and company are 13-0 in inter-league battles.
*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.