The Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros have the second game of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park to attend to this evening. The Astros won a close one last night, as the pesky D-backs nearly pulled out a win in Houston. Madison Bumgarner just about willed the Diamondbacks to a win, but his 1-hit performance across 7 innings wasn’t enough.
Bumgarner gave up 2 earned runs on 1-hit, which has to be frustrating for a pitcher. In any case, his effort got the game into extra innings. The Diamondbacks scored a run in the top of the 10th to take a 3-2 lead. However, the ‘Stros were able to respond with 2 runs for the win. The win puts the Astros at 87-60 on the season. Thanks to the Oakland A’s struggling, the Astros have opened up a seven-game lead in the AL West.
— Houston Astros (@astros) September 18, 2021
The Astros are looking to put a bow on the divisional title this upcoming week. The best-case scenario for the A’s is going to be a wildcard. The Tampa Bay Rays lead the American League with 92 wins, so there’s still slim hope that the Astros can come from behind to take the No. 1 seed. It’s unlikely but the opportunity is still there for Houston.
Oakland struggling isn’t the only reason why the Astros have a healthy lead in the AL West. Let’s give the Astros some credit because they’re playing well as of late. Houston is going into Saturday evening with wins in five of their last six attempts. Before their win versus the D-backs last night, they won back-to-back games against the Rangers, 7-2 and 12-1.
The Astros are expected to send Lance McCullers Jr. to the bump in this one. McCullers Jr. has been one of the most consistent and reliable pitchers in the Astros’ rotation this season. He’s closing in on a career-high as we approach the end of the regular season. Rookie Humberto Castellanos is expected to counter for the D-backs. Head below for our free Diamondbacks vs. Astros pick on September 18, 2021.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Houston Astros Live Odds and Betting History:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Arizona Diamondbacks||+1.5 (+123)||+249||Over 9 (+103)|
|Houston Astros||-1.5 (-143)||-280||Under 9 (-123)|
|Team Data||Arizona Diamondbacks||Houston Astros|
|Batting Average Away/Home||.219||.263|
|Runs Per 9||4.21||5.45|
|Team ERA Away/Home||5.42||3.50|
Diamondbacks vs. Astros Prediction:
Lance McCullers Jr. recorded a career-high with an ERA of 3.22 in 2015 and 2016. He’s doing better in 2021 with an ERA of 3.12. McCullers also owns a 1.24 WHIP and .309 OBP. His work recently has been some of his best of the season. Through his previous seven starts, McCullers has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in six of his previous seven attempts.
He was hot with just 3 hits and 1 runs allowed against the Angels in a 3-1 win on September 12. It’s the second outing in three games that he’s allowed 1 or no earned runs. In his previous three starts, McCullers has recorded a 1.59 ERA and 1.18 WHIP across 17 innings of play. He should be able to handle an Arizona offense that is 26th in the majors with 4.3 runs scored per 9 innings.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Houston Astros Betting Trends:
- Record (Last 10): 2-8
- 3-15 overall in their previous 18 games
- 2-8 overall in their previous ten games on the road
- 3-7 overall in their previous ten interleague games
- 8-20 overall in their previous 28 games versus the AL West
- Humberto Castellanos ERA (Last 3): 5.65
- Record (Last 10): 7-3
- 5-0 overall in their previous five interleague games as a favorite
- 4-0 overall in their previous four interleague games in Houston
- 7-2 overall in their previous nine games in Houston
- UNDER is 5-1 in their previous six games versus the Diamondbacks
- Lance McCullers Jr. ERA (Last 3): 1.59
Humberto Castellanos has been carrying himself well as a rookie in 2021. He got his feet wet with eight appearances out of the bullpen last season. Castellanos struggled with a 6.75 ERA, but he’s shown nice improvement this season. He is going into Saturday with an ERA of 3.90 and a 1.23 WHIP.
Castellanos has made seven appearances as a reliever and four as a starter. He hasn’t been at his best recently. Castellanos posted an ERA of 5.65 and a 1.26 WHIP in his previous three attempts across 15 innings. In his last 9 innings, Castellanos has been touched up for 11 hits and 8 earned runs. He may be fine in Houston, but probably can’t keep up with McCuller Jr. I like the Astros by at least 2 runs at Minute Maid.