Astros at Cardinals Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by David Schwab - 7/9/2013
The Houston Astros will square-off against a former N.L. Central rival this week in a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Tuesday night’s Game 1 is set to get underway at 8:15 p.m. and it will be available on MLB Extra Innings.
As expected before the season even began, Houston is bringing up the rear in its new division, the A.L. West with an overall record of 32-57. It has lost eight of its last 10 games overall and is 3-9 in its last 12 road games. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of its last four games.
St. Louis completed a three-game sweep of Miami with a 3-2 victory this past Sunday as a heavy home favorite. It is now dead-even with Pittsburgh atop the Central at 53-34 overall. The Cardinals are 25-16 at home this season and the total has gone ‘over’ in three of their last five games.
Astros vs. Cardinals Betting Storylines
It has been a struggle all-around for Houston in its first season in the American League. Its lineup has a team batting average of .235 and it is ranked 13th in the AL in scoring with an average of 3.8 runs a game. Its pitching is the worst in the league with a team ERA of 4.83 and ranked at or near the bottom in almost every statistical category.
The Astros will go with Bud Norris as their starter for Tuesday night. The right-hander is clearly the staff’s best pitcher with a record of 6-7 and a 3.22 ERA. He has lasted at least six innings in his last nine starts. Lifetime against St. Louis, Norris is 8-5 with an ERA of 2.74.
The Cardinals remain one of the most balanced teams in baseball in terms of their ability to pitch and hit the ball. The pitching staff is ranked third in the National League with a team ERA of 3.32. The lineup is currently the most prolific scoring unit in the NL with an average of five runs a game. St. Louis has six different batters with at least 35 RBI on the year led by Allen Craig with 69. Carlos Beltran has also been a force with 51 RBI and a team-high 19 home runs.
Look for staff ace Adam Wainwright to get the call for St. Louis as its starter for this game. The right-hander comes in with an 11-5 record and 2.36 ERA in 18 starts this season. He has allowed three or less earned runs in eight of his last 10 starts while posting a total of 62 strikeouts over the course of those contests. He has dominated Houston in the past with a 12-1 record and 1.58 ERA.
Astros vs. Cardinals Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has opened the Astros as +235 road underdogs for Tuesday night’s series opener with St. Louis listed as a prohibitive 255 home favorite. The total has been set at 7.5.
The Astros are 11-27 in Norris’ last 38 starts and 4-10 in his last 14 starts against the NL Central. The total has stayed under in five of their last seven interleague road games.
The Cardinals are 17-7 in Wainwright’s last 24 starts and 18-7 in Game 1 of their last 25 series. The total has stayed under in eight of their last 10 games at home.
St. Louis has gone 11-2 in the last 13 meetings between the two teams overall and 7-1 in Wainwright’s last eight starts against Houston at Busch Stadium. The total has stayed under in four of the last five meetings. So far this season, these two split a pair of games in Houston in late June.
Astros vs. Cardinals Predictions
This game is a mismatch on a number of levels. The clear edge lies in Wainwright’s past success against the former NL Central foes. The fact that Norris is on the mound for Houston does entice a small play on the ‘under’ when it comes to the total, but if playing a side do not sweat the high money line on the Cardinals as they get the win at home.
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