Cleveland Indians (91-71 ) vs Houston Astros (103-59)Date : 10/05/2018
Time : 2:05 PM ET
Location : Minute Maid Park
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Cleveland Indians vs Houston Astros
The defending World Series Champs Astros will welcome the Indians to Minute Maid Park as the two teams are set to play in the American League division series starting on Friday. The Astros are looking to go back to back while the Indians will do their best to create an upset.
Cleveland Indians's Latest Performance :
Other teams may say that the Indians had the easiest route to the playoffs because of their division. The purpose of the regular season is to make the playoffs and the Indians certainly did that. Everyone starts from zero when it playoffs begin because everyone on the team will become more focus and have the adrenaline to play well. The Indians are 42-39 when playing on the road this season. They are 3rd best in batting with 818 runs scored this season and 9th in pitching with a 3.77 ERA. The Indians will have to come through for them since they are going up against an elite pitching crew.
Player to watch in this series: Jose Ramirez, he has to play well for the Indians to pull off an upset against the Astros. He finishes the season with a slash line of .270/.387/.552 with 39 RBIs and 105 RBI. The Indians will have to prove everyone wrong that it doesn’t matter what division they are in they still have a great team and can pull off an upset.
Pitcher to watch in this series: Corey Kluber, he finishes the year 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 215 innings posting 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings. It will be great to see how he matches up against Verlander.
Houston Astros's Latest Performance :
The Astros begin their postseason campaign against the Indians. The Astros hasn’t been great playing at home this season they are 46-35 on the year. Coming into this series the Astros are 6th in batting with 797 runs scored this season and the best in pitching with a 3.11 ERA. The Astros will be trying to replicate what they did last year in the postseason where they won games based on their terrific pitchers. Gerrit Cole will get his first taste of the postseason since 2015 when he started for the Pirates in the NL Wild Card game. The Astros defeated the Indians 4-3 in the season series.
Player to watch in this series: Jose Altuve, it is time for him to switch onto playoffs mode. He finishes the season with a slash of .315/.384/.449 with 13 homers, 61 RBI and 17 steals in 21 attempts over 137 games. I look for him to be the catalyst for this Astros offense as he should have a great series against the Indians.
Pitcher to watch in this series: Justin Verlander, he is coming off a career-high 290 strikeouts in the regular season, posting career-best 0.90 WHIP. He is 20-24 with a 4.71 ERA in 52 starts against the Indians. Verlander was bought in last August to pitch in big games he posted a 2.21 ERA over six postseason outings. Going up against the Indians in the first round would be a great challenge for him.
How Cleveland Indians & Houston Astros Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Astros are 8-2 in their last 10 after allowing 2 runs or less in their previous game.
Indians are 3-10 in their last 13 games vs. a left-handed starter.
Against The Spread Selection: Houston Astros
My reason for the pick :
The Astros arguably have the best team in the playoffs and I don’t see the Indians causing them any problems in the ALDS. At the end of the day, great pitching will always beat great batting. The Astros have a great pitching staff and they will play well and control the Indians batters. It is unfortunate for the Indians to get matched up against the Astros. The Astros should be able to take care of business in their return to the postseason as they are looking to go back to back for the first time in franchise history.
The Astros to sweep the Indians in the ALDS 3-0.
Betting trends for Cleveland Indians:
- Indians are 1-5 in their last 6 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
Betting trends for Houston Astros:
- Astros are 26-8 in their last 34 overall.