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Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians odds, picks and predictions

Ryan Dodson
Sportsbook Wire

The Houston Astros (68-38) take on the Cleveland Guardians (54-50) Thursday in the 1st game of a 4-game set at Progressive Field. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. Let's analyze Tipico Sportsbook's lines around the Astrosvs. Guardiansodds with MLB picks and predictions.

Season series: Astros lead 2-1

The Astros have hit a bit of a rough patch, going 4-6 over their last 10 games. They lost 2 of 3 to the Boston Red Sox in their last series but look to get back on track with RHP Justin Verlander on the mound. The Astros are 16-4 against the AL Central division and 34-21 on the road.

The Guardians have won 6 of their last 10 and 12 of their last 20 games as they sit just 1 game behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins. They have received a boost from 2B Andres Gimenez, who is hitting .320 with 4 extra-base hits and 4 stolen bases over the last week.

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Astros at Guardians projected starters

RHP Justin Verlander vs. RHP Zach Plesac

Verlander (14-3, 1.81 ERA) makes his 20th start. He has a 0.87 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9 and 8.9 K/9 in 124 IP.

  • Has won his last 6 starts with a 0.86 ERA.
  • Hasn't faced the Guardians since 2019, but he struck out 13 over 7-scoreless innings pitched in that meeting.

Plesac (2-9, 4.33 ERA) makes his 20th start. He has a 1.29 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9 and 6.8 K/9 in 104 IP.

  • He's 0-4 with a 5.84 ERA over his last 5 starts.
  • He was rocked for 7 ER on 9 H and 1 BB with 5 K in 4 2/3 IP May 24 at Houston.

Astros at Guardians odds and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:53 a.m. ET.

  • Money line (ML) : Astros -200 (bet $200 to win $100) | Guardians +160 (bet $100 to win $160)
  • Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS) : Astros -1.5 (-115) | Guardians +1.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U) : 7.5 (O: -130 | U: +105)

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Astros at Guardians picks and predictions

Prediction

Astros 5, Guardians 2

Money line

Houston's offense has been a little shaky of late, but Verlander has been unbeatable. He's pitching at a level similar to the Cy Young contender he was before Tommy John surgery. His K-rate is still a little low for his standards, but he is approaching 40 years old. He keeps rolling, and my favorite bet in the game is ASTROS FIRST 5 INNINGS (-130).

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Run line/Against the spread

As mentioned, Houston has just 4 wins in its last 10 games, but 3 of those came by more than 1 run. Plesac's stuff is very hittable and Verlander has not been. I'll take ASTROS -1.5 (-115) for a HALF UNIT.

Over/Under

It's 83 degrees with a 4-mph wind coming in from right-center field, and there's a 62% chance of rain. Cleveland has cashed 5 Overs in a row. Houston has cashed 4 Unders in a row. In fact, they've scored 6 runs or more just twice in the last 10 games. I'd be much happier if this number were 8.5, but LEAN UNDER 7.5 (+105) with Verlander on the warpath he's on.

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