Game 162 gets underway Sunday afternoon in this interleague matchup between the NL West’s Arizona Diamondbacks and AL West’s Houston Astros. MLB odds have the Astros as heavy road favorites, with an Over/Under of 9.5.
Due to last night’s events, this game carries some meaning for both clubs. Arizona can swap spots with Miami in the Wild Card seeding, while Houston could still clinch the division if it wins and Texas loses to Seattle.
Will the Diamondbacks defend their home diamond, or can the Astros give the Rangers something to think about today? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for Astros vs Rangers on Sunday, October 1.
Astros vs Diamondbacks odds
Astros vs Diamondbacks predictions
Yes, those surface-level stats aren’t great, but his 4.52 xERA and .230 xBA suggests positive regression is likely. We are going to target Javier in the strikeout department as he boasts a 29.3 Chase% and a 27.3 Whiff%, both of which place the right-hander in the top-half of the league among pitchers.
Currently, you can find his strikeout prop at 4.5 via DraftKings, a total he has surpassed in each of his past five starts. This strikeout success is likely to continue against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks’ hitting has been underwhelming this year, ranking in the bottom half of the league in hits per game, SLG, OPS, and home runs. They have also regressed in the strikeout department over the second half of the season, moving towards the middle of the pack in K% when facing right-handed pitching.
While it is not the largest sample size, this current lineup owns a 22.2 K% and a 31.1 Whiff% through 27 career plate appearances against Javier. In his last start against Arizona, the right-hander recorded six punchouts over four innings of work.
My best bet: Cristian Javier Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)
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Astros vs Diamondbacks same-game parlay
We covered the first leg in the best bet section, now let’s take a look at the other two.
While Javier could find success in this matchup, left-hander Kyle Nelson could also limit the damage against a strong Astros lineup. It’s a bullpen game for Arizona, although Nelson is expected to get the bulk of the action.
Through 67 appearances on the mound this season, he is 7-3 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. His underlying metrics are also strong, ranking in the 65th percentile or higher in xERA and xBA.
With that said, I don’t necessarily trust this Diamondbacks bullpen against one of the best lineups in the league, and Javier should also have the edge in the pitching department.
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Astros vs Diamondbacks moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Astros opened as a -164 favorite and have since been bet up to -172. I expect this line to only widen as Houston boasts a clear hitting advantage, while the market will likely not respect the bullpen game from Arizona’s side.
That brings us to the total, which opened at 9.5 and remains at that number. I would be shocked if this total moves in either direction given the uncertainty regarding who will be pitching for the Diamondbacks in a bullpen game, and Houston’s powerhouse lineup will keep this number high.
With that said, assuming Nelson does get the bulk of the workload, he is capable of limiting the damage.
Trend to know
Javier has recorded five or more strikeouts in each of his past five starts. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs Diamondbacks.
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Astros vs Diamondbacks game info
|Location:||Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ|
|Date:||Sunday, October 1, 2023|
|First pitch:||3:10 p.m. ET|
Cristian Javier (9-5, 4.73 ERA): Regression hit Javier hard this season after three strong years to begin his career. However, his underlying metrics are slightly better than his surface level stats and suggest that brighter outings are looming. The ceiling is still high for the 26-year-old that looked so promising just a year ago.
Kyle Nelson (7-3, 3.88 ERA): A reliable bullpen arm this season, Nelson is expected to get the bulk of the workload in this matchup. Nelson has appeared in relief once in his career against Houston, recording two consecutive outs in a very short appearance. We will have to wait and see how long Arizona is willing to let him go in this contest, but I would be shocked if it's any longer than three innings.
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