Framber Valdez (1-2, 1.90 ERA) vs. Ryan Castellani (0-0, 1.04 ERA)
The Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies will turn to Denver after two games in Houston. The Astros were 2-1 winners in both games, as they received a great lift from starting pitchers Brandon Bielak and Zack Greinke.
Bielak has been the guy replacing Justin Verlander in the rotation. If Verlander does return this season, it will be hard to put Bielak in the bullpen at this rate. He’s been one of the best success stories for the Astros so far in 2020.
The Astros are not as dead as some people make them out to believe. No, I don’t believe the Oakland Athletics are going to run away with the AL West and leave the Astros far behind. The Athletics have a lot of work to do if that’s going to be the case.
Oakland is clear of the Astros by 2.5 games in the division. That’s manageable for the Astros, and for all of the people laughing at them for the slow start, let’s not count them out in a winnable AL West.
They head into Colorado with a record of 13-10, which gives them a 2.5-game cushion on the Texas Rangers. The emergency of Bielak will have to continue for the Astros to have a solid chance of catching the A’s.
I don’t think their offense is strong enough to do it with their bats. We can debate several reasons why the Astros don’t have as much of a potent offense as in years past. I will let you use your imagination as regards to one reason.
We’ll see if the Rockies can get better results home at Coors Field. Their offense was fast asleep in Houston. The Denver air should help their offense out some, though Framber Valdez presents a fairly decent challenge for the Colorado bats. Valdez has been another pitcher stepping up in the absence of JV.
The 26-year-old is breaking out and emerging as a potential star for the Astros. We’ll see if he can tame Coors Field on Wednesday night. Rookie Ryan Castellani, who has been in fine form in his own regard, is expected to counter for the Rox. Head below for our free Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies pick for August 19, 2020.
Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies Prediction:
The public might be surprised with how well Framber Valdez is pitching this season, but I don’t believe those inside the organization are surprised by his rise in the rotation. Reports in the offseason and through camp were that Valdez was ready to emerge as a reliable member of the rotation.
After finding success as a rookie in eight spot appearances, Valdez tailed off last season. In 26 outings, eight of which were as a starter, he posted an ERA of 5.86 and 1.67 WHIP. An ultimatum was given to Valdez. Either work hard in the offseason and improve, or a trip down to the minors was going to be in order. He apparently doesn’t want to go down to Triple-A, because Valdez has been hot through three starts and one as a reliever.
Valdez has an ERA of 1.90 and 1.10 WHIP through 23.2 innings of work. After getting touched up for 3 earned runs in his first outing against the Dodgers, Valdez hasn’t conceded more than 1 earned run in his next three performances. He has a tough matchup trying to deal with the air in Denver, but if Valdez doesn’t get intimidated by the challenge, this should be another productive outing for him.
Ryan Catellani has impressed early for the Rockies. He was flawless in his debut against the Mariners on August 8 through 4 innings. Castellani conceded no hits and no earned runs for a 0.00 ERA and 0.25 WHIP. He gave up the first run of his career against the Rangers in his next performance, but it was only one, with just 2 hits conceded through 4.2 innings at Coors Field.
24-year-old Castellani owns a 1.04 ERA and 0.58 WHIP to open up his career. It’s been an impressive stretch for Castellani, and just how he dreamed of his major league career beginning. Certainly more runs will be scored in Denver than in Houston, but 12.5 runs looks a tick too high for me. I’d look at the UNDER.