Walker Buehler (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Framber Valdez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros highlight the biggest series this week at Minute Maid Park. This is a rematch of the 2017 World Series, which ultimately resulted in a win for the Astros. It was the first World Series for the Astros and it comes with an asterisk if you’re not a fan of the team. Dodgers’ fans have a huge asterisk on their championship, though Major League Baseball didn’t feel the same. The Astros stay in the history books with their Game 7 win over the Dodgers.
Just like the New England Patriots, the Astros are an easy team to hate on now for most people. Every team has rules they try to exploit to gain an edge. It’s a matter of not getting caught. The Astros were just way too out in the open about it and pushed the rules too far. However, Houston can still hit with or without a garbage can. If you think that the Astros are going to go away quietly in 2020 then you are sadly mistaken. If anything, the Astros are likely going to have more motivation to prove people wrong this season.
They are coming off another big offensive onslaught on Monday night against the Seattle Mariners. Their offense has been cooking going into this two-game series versus the Dodgers. The Astros won three of four games against the Mariners to open the season with a record of 3-1. While everyone discusses the New York Yankees and Dodgers going the distance to the World Series, the Astros may play the villain role well and steal a spot in the World Series. The results, especially at the plate, have been trending in the right direction.
The loss of Justin Verlander certainly puts a damper on their odds of that happening, though. That said, the Astros can still win without Verlander, and if they can get him back for the postseason then crisis averted. The timeline of his injury is a bit of a mystery right now. Verlander himself has said it’s only a forearm strain and he’ll be back, though some reports are suggesting that JV could be on the shelf for the entire year.
Brandon Bielak was recently called up with an extra spot available on the roster. Bielak was sharp out of the bullpen last night, with 1 earned run allowed across 4.1 innings. After Josh James was chased out of the game early, Bielak settled in and saved the Astros from letting things get out of control after the Mariners took a 3-0 lead. The ‘Stros fought back for a 8-5 victory in another impressive showing by the offense. Framber Valdez is expected to get the starting nod against the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler. Head below for our free LA Dodgers vs. Houston Astros pick for July 28, 2020 in MLB.
LA Dodgers vs. Houston Astros MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
LA Dodgers vs. Houston Astros Prediction:
The Dodgers bypassed Walker Buehler in their opening series against the San Francisco Giants. They waited for the series opener against the LA Dodgers to give Buehler his first assignment of 2020. The Dodgers were cautious with Buehler in spring/summer training. He didn’t get much work at all. Buehler received Tommy John surgery in 2015, and they’re still being careful with working him too hard in less important games. He is coming off a terrific season with an ERA of 3.26 and 1.04 WHIP in 2019. Bueher was a bit worse on the road, though. He posted a 3.66 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 16 games away from Dodger Stadium.
This was after Buehler had a coming out party in 2018, as he posted an ERA of 2.62 and 1.12 WHIP. The Astros have limited experience against Buehler, but for what it’s worth, they’re hitting .500 with a .556 OBP in 6 at-bats. Buehler has pitched only 2 innings this summer. He made an appearance in an intrasquad game to get his feet wet with 2 innings, but that’s the only action Buehler has seen since the spring. I doubt the Dodgers are going to press him too hard on Tuesday night in Houston.
The Dodgers should be able to exploit Framber Valdez in this one. Valdez showed promise in eight appearances as a rookie in 2018. He posted a 2.19 ERA and 1.24 WHIP to set up more work the following season. The extra workload didn’t help Valdez. With more of a sample size in 26 appearances, Valdez notched an ERA of 5.86 and 1.67 WHIP in 70.2 innings. With Verlander out, more pressure is going to be on Valdez to breakout in 2020. I think it’s going to be difficult to get through the Dodgers’ lineup, though. This looks like a 6-4 game. With that in mind, the OVER is worth a look at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night.