Cleveland Indians (21-22) at Houston Astros (29-17)
|Date & Time||Sunday May 20, 2018, 8:08 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -140 / Cleveland Indians +130 --- Over/Under: 7.5
The Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros wrap up their three game set by playing the rubber match in this week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.
The Cleveland Indians will look to take the series after evening the set up at one win apiece following their 5-4 triumph over the Astros on Saturday. Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes each had a solo homer, while Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion and Jason Kipnis each had a double and an RBI to round out the scoring for the Tribe in the win, with Ramirez going 2 for 3 at the dish. Francisco Lindor added a base hit as well to wrap up the Cleveland offense in the win. Corey Kluber got the win, improving to 7-2 this season after giving up two runs on six hits while striking out ten over seven innings of work. Cody Allen closed out most of the 8th and the entire 9th inning for his 6th save of the year. Carlos Carrasco will start game three and is 5-2 with a 3.66 ERA and 57 strikeouts this season. In his career, Carrasco is 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA and 41 strikeouts against Houston.
The Houston Astros will look to rebound and take the set after dropping game two on Saturday. All of Houston’s damage on the scoreboard was done with the long ball, as Carlos Correa hit a two-run home run, while Alex Bregman and Martin Gonzalez each added solo home runs to round out the scoring for Houston in the loss. Jose Altuve went 2 for 4 with a double and Yuli Gurriel added a two-bagger of his own while George Springer went 2 for 4 at the dish to cap off the offense for Houston in the defeat. Dallas Keuchel took the loss, falling to 3-6 this season after giving up four runs on six hits while striking out three over five innings of work. Lance McCullers Jr. will start game three and is 5-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 58 strikeouts this season. In his career, McCullers Jr. is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA and 5 strikeouts against Cleveland.
Cleveland is 35-16 in Carrasco’s last 51 road starts and 3-7 in their last 10 games against the AL West while the over is 15-5-1 in their last 21 games overall. Houston is 2-5 in McCullers Jr.’s last 7 home starts and 38-14 in their last 52 games against a right-handed starter while the under is 32-15-4 in their last 51 games overall. Cleveland is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings between these two teams.
I’ve gone back and forth on this pick, as I think the plus money is worth a serious look considering how well Carrasco has pitched on the road over the years. However, the Indians’ bullpen is more porous than we are used to seeing. McCullers Jr. has allowed three runs or less in eight of his nine starts this season, and I think he can keep the Tribe held down so I’ll lay the juice with the Astros on Sunday night.