The St. Louis Cardinals split with the Cubs over in London and return home to host the defending World Series champs, the Houston Astros. The Cardinals are in last place in the NL Central at 32-45 while the 42-36 Astros are second in the AL West and five games back of the Rangers.
The Cardinals still have a chance to get back into the mix in the Central, but need to get started soon, maybe as soon as tonight with Jordan Montgomery on the mound. Montgomery is 4-7 with a 3.69 ERA and is coming off a win over Washington. He will be opposed by fellow lefty, Framber Valdez. Valdez has been great for the Astros and comes in at 7-5 with a 2.27 ERA.
Let’s take a look at the odds for Game 1 of this three game interleague series.
Astros vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total
Astros vs. Cardinals prediction and pick
two lefties will be on the mound for this one, but the biggest difference in this game is the lefty that won’t be playing. Yordan Alvarez is on the 10-day IL with an oblique injury and he will certainly be missed against Montgomery. The Astros have reverse splits when it comes to facing lefties. Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez lead the team in OPS against lefties at .931 and Alvarez with a .988. The righties in Houston’s lineup struggle to hit lefties. Jose Abreu has a .636 OPS, Alex Bregman is at .596, and Jose Altuve is at a .410 OPS.
That’s not a group that will be strong enough offensively to compete with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado who have crushed lefties their entire career. The Cardinals are 16th in team OPS against lefties, only three spots behind Houston, who are without their best hitter.
The Astros are 26th in ERA in the past week at 5.75, so this is a case of a team without their best hitter and with a struggling pitching staff. The Cardinals are a last place team, so it’s hard to trust them, but I’ll take them to win this one at home.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change