I took a one-day break from profiting – but also not losing – with my Free MLB Picks, however I got right back on the winning wagon last night between the Giants and Astros.
I took the Astros on the run line in last night’s game against the Giants, and things looked dandy throughout. The Astros built a 6-0 lead and Lance McCullers Jr. took a no-hitter into the seventh while he finished with seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit and one hit batter with five strikeout, exiting the game with a 6-0 lead.
That said, reliever Josh James came in and nearly had me blowing a gasket. James allowed four earned runs on three hits, a walk and a homer in his lone inning of work. Thankfully, Ryan Pressly came in and worked a perfect innings – albeit with two hits allowed – and ended the Giants comeback attempt in what resulted in a 6-4 Astros win.
We don’t like to sweat that much at the end of games, so let’s just not do that on tonight’s 14-game MLB schedule.
Season Record: 12-5
Now let’s go right back to this series and take a look at another free MLB pick featuring the Giants vs. Astros from Minute Maid Park in Houston!
Giants vs. Astros Betting Odds
- Giants (+159)
- Astros (-173)
- Giants +1.5 (-120)
- Astros -1.5 (+100)
- Over 9.5 (-110)
- Under 9.5 (-110)
Giants vs. Astros MLB Pick Breakdown
Pitching Matchup: SF – Anderson (0-1, 2.19 ERA/5.95 FIP) vs. HOU – Bielak (2-0, 0.87 ERA/3.41 FIP)
The Giants will send left-hander Tyler Anderson to the bump tonight to make his fifth appearance of the season, the third of which will be of the starting variety.
Anderson’s last start came in his old stomping grounds at Coors Field in Colorado where he turned in an excellent performance, going five shutout innings with just two hits and two walks allowed to go along with three strikeouts.
That said, it would appear he’s flirting with danger as his tidy 2.19 ERA comes alongside some scary peripherals.
Anderson is also the owner of a 5.95 FIP and 6.09 xFIP as well as a huge 5.84 BB/9 rate that is actually above his 5.11 K/9 clip. He’s allowed an elevated 1.46 HR/9 and is inducing ground-balls at just a 31.5% rate and fly-balls at a huge 42.9% rate. Finally, his 6.31 SIERA is a strong indication that Anderson is going to be blown up, and soon.
It would appear the southpaw is in some trouble tonight.
Making his fourth career appearance and second career start tonight will be right-hander Brandon Bielak who has been stretching out to work out of the Astros’ depleted rotation moving forward.
Bielak owns a stout 0.87 ERA on the season, although it would appear he too could be in for regression.
Bielak’s ERA figure is accompanied by a 3.41 FIP and 4.85 FIP while he too owns a sky-high walk rate of 5.23 BB/9 while not missing many bats in the form of a 6.10 K/9. He’s yet to allow a homer, but I would expect his the .214 BABIP against him to rise moving forward.
Like Anderson, Bielak is the owner of an elevated SIERA mark of 5.44, although he’s at least allowing just a 28.6% fly-ball rate in the early going.
Nonetheless, it would appear both of these pitchers are set up to give up far more runs in the near future.
The Giants turned on the offense late last night and come up with four runs as their somewhat surprising start to the season continues.
They aren’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball but they aren’t in the league’s basement as expected, either. They sit 222nd with a .305 team wOBA and have hit for little power with a 22nd-ranked .153 ISO, but their 99 wRC+ sits 18th, as does their 1.6 fWAR.
As I noted yesterday, it’s been the late-blooming 29-year-old Mike Yastrzemski with those baseball bloodlines leading the way. The grandson of former Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski, Mike has hit for a .306 average, but also a 1.071 OPS, .447 wOBA and 193 wRC+ so far this season with four home runs and a stolen base.
Yastrzemski and the red-hot Austin Slater – with three homers in his last three games – have led the way of late, however the grizzled vets such as Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt have held the team back this season.
The Astros’ offense has disappointed for the most part this season coming off an MLB-best .355 wOBA from last season, however they are a real good candidate to deliver Anderson that aforementioned regression in this one.
Not only was Houston’s offense the best in the business overall, but they also led the majors with a .361 wOBA against left-handed pitching while the likes of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa absolutely tattooed left-handed pitching last season and ranked among the league leaders in doing so.
They sit ninth with a .339 wOBA versus leftes to this point in the season and seventh with a .212 ISO against southpaws.
Even without George Springer, the Astros should be able to handle the lefty Anderson in this one tonight.
It doesn’t bear too much repeating as I spoke about this yesterday, but the Giants’ bullpen is having a tough go of it this season after being one of the more effective ‘pens in baseball last season.
A trio of high-leverage relievers in Will Smith, Mark Melancon and Sam Dyson from that 2019 bullpen are now pitching elsewhere and the result this year has been a 23rd-ranked 5.14 ERA to this point in the season, but also a 26th-ranked 5.75 FIP, 28th-ranked 5.29 xFIP and a 29th-ranked -1.2 fWAR.
That said, the bullpen combined to be charged for just one earned run last night, allowing three hits – including a homer – and two walks across 4.2 innings of work.
The bullpen just about blew a six-run lead in short order last night, or more specifically Josh James who is likely to get the night off tonight, and for good reason.
The team is without several regulars in the bullpen including Brad Peacock, Austin Pruitt, Joe Biagini, Chris Devenski and perhaps most importantly closer Roberto Osuna who is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery soon, thus ending his 2020 and almost certainly his 2021 seasons.
The Astros have made do with what they have in that bullpen to this point, turning in a 3.89 ERA to this point, although their 4.46 FIP, 5.18 xFIP and 5.53 BB/9 clip don’t point to brighter days ahead.
For the first time in a long time, the Astros’ pitching staff is on the ropes.
As I noted yesterday, the bullpens aren’t a factor in my pick here. The Giants’ bullpen is going to struggle this season and if they don’t get healthy, that could be the case for the Astros as well.
I’m looking square at the offenses here, relative to the opposing pitcher, and I’m liking the Astros in a big way again here tonight.
Brandon Bielak is likely in for regression as he’s not going to post a 0.87 ERA all season and his peripherals aren’t kind, but the Giants are not positioned to take advantage of that nearly as well as the Astros are on offense.
They own just a .296 wOBA against righties while the Astros have hit lefties for that ninth-ranked .339 wOBA and seventh-ranked .212 ISO. For good measure, the Giants also rank 23rd with a .136 ISO against righties.
We have a small sample with Bielak, but Tyler Anderson is the owner of a career 4.62 ERA/4.51 FIP and was shelled for a 11.76 ERA/7.62 FIP in 20.2 MLB innings last season on his way out of Colorado.
Additionally, if you think Coors Field was the problem, think again. Anderson’s 5.21 ERA on the road in his career is far worse than his 4.16 at home. He’s just a below average big-league pitcher and the Astros are a team well-equipped to take advantage of that.
As I did last night, I’ll take the Astros on the moneyline at +100 in this one tonight.