MLB Betting Picks – Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

After the first weekend of the 2020 MLB season we’ve learned absolutely nothing. Every team has at least one win and one loss, and all are all still alive in the playoff picture. Two teams that have a good chance of playing well into the postseason renew acquaintances on Tuesday when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the Houston Astros. This is the first meeting between the clubs since the infamous sign-stealing scandal became public. The Dodgers might have a score to settle, but they’d rather win the game after dropping the last two at home to the lowly Giants. Young phenom Walker Buehler gets the nod for the Dodgers opposed by southpaw Framber Valdez in the first of a quick two-game series.  Bookmaker is offering a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1000)

The game will air live on FS1 with betting options for every game on the 2020 MLB schedule available at BookMaker.eu.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros 

Date and Time: Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 9:10 p.m. ET 

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX 

Probable Pitchers: Walker Buehler vs. Framber Valdez 

Dodgers at Astros TV Coverage: FS1

Odds Analysis

Both clubs took a hit to their pitching staffs that could seriously impact their odds. Right before the season opener the Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the IL with a back injury. They are also without David Price, who elected not to play. Following the departure of Gerrit Cole during the offseason, the Astros still had Justin Verlander as their ace. The two combined to win 41 games last season. Now Verlander is on the shelf with an injury, so who knows what’s going to happen.

With the addition of former AL MVP Mookie Betts to a lineup that has reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers are expected to outscore opponents anyway. That wasn’t the case in the final two games against Frisco. LA dropped them both scoring a total of five runs. 

With 14-game winner Buehler on the bump the Dodgers are favored in the opening matchup. They hit the road for the first time this season where things become a little tenser after what happened with the Florida Marlins and their COVID outbreak that postponed their home opener. 

The Astros will have to figure out their rotation now that Cy Young winner Verlander is out for an indefinite time. Like LA their offense is potent. Unlike LA the Stros showed off in taking three of four from Seattle by scoring 29 runs in the series with the OVER going 3-0-1.

Probable Pitchers

Buehler becomes a more important piece for the Dodgers with Kershaw ailing and Price sitting. Long considered the top young arm in the organization, Buehler dealt with an injury during summer camp stunting his progress, but he insists he’s healthy. A first-time All-Star last year, he went 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA fanning 215 batters over 182.1 innings. He wasn’t around when the teams met in the World Series, but Buehler does have one start against the Astros. He worked 5.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts in a 3-2 win in 2018.

The Astros are turning to lefty Valdez in the series opener and we are not going to see him toss a complete game. Not that the Dodgers are going to cuff him around rather he’s limited to around 80 pitches. Thrust into the rotation Valdez is looking to change his fortunes. He hasn’t been good when getting the call posting a 4-5 record with a 5.25 ERA in 13 career starts. Splitting time between the rotation and bullpen last year, he went 4-7 with a 5.86 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. Despite some wicked numbers he’s been able to stick around. He better be sharp against an aggressive LA club or it could be another early stint falling well short of his pitch count.

Player to Watch

Bellinger was one of the most vociferous Dodgers when the sign stealing scandal reached its peak. Things have been muted since given the current conditions with COVID calling the entire season into question. The Dodgers have downplayed the rematch, but we all know that’s just PC talk. Inside they’re fuming and want nothing more than to stomp the Astros. And that brings us back to the MVP, who’s off to a slow start hitting .235 with one RBI through four games. He’s never played a regular season game in Houston, but in three World Series games at Minute Maid Park he hit .308 with a homer and five RBIs.

Bet Dodgers at Astros at BookMaker.eu

I like the Dodgers chances against Valdez, who hasn’t shown much during his two years in the bigs. There are several holdovers on both sides from the 2017 playoffs and there should be a prop on how many Astros will be hit by a pitch. The Dodgers say they’ve moved on, though there is added incentive to make a little extra happen. They will pour it on if given the chance and they will need all the runs they can get against a deep Astros club.

MLB Score Prediction: Dodgers 7, Astros 4

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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