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Astros vs. Cardinals, 7:45 ET
It is very important to read closely on articles. Yesterday someone messaged me and told me that I should’ve taken the Twins at +175 through five innings instead of the full game so I could protect myself with a draw. Well… that’s exactly what I did. It ended up that we were able to push and end the day 1-0-1. We will look once again for a clean day, starting with a game between the Astros and Cardinals.
The Astros are just six games over .500 in their World Series defending season. Sure, the team looks a little different this year, and they are not getting as much production from Jose Altuve after his return from injury. This year, they have more competition than in past years where they ran away with the division title. Not only are the Angels actually playing a bit better, the Rangers are the best-hitting team in baseball. Tonight, the Astros take on the Cardinals, a team that is not playing like the Rangers or the Angels. The Astros have Framber Valdez on the hill tonight, too. That adds to the lure of Houston for tonight. He is as consistent of a pitcher as you can find in baseball. This season he has a great 2.27 ERA. While his quality start streak isn’t quite the same as it was last season, he still has posted a quality start in 12 of his 15 starts this year. The bottom line, you know what you’ll get out of Valdez. The Cardinals hitters also haven’t seen Valdez, so he gets a bit of an edge there too.
The Cardinals are returning from London after splitting a two-game set with the Cubs. I probably could stop the analysis there for the most part, I really think they are going to have a bit of jetlag. They have to return to the field after travel – even in comfortable settings – and media obligations that are not normal during the season. The Cardinals are still playing somewhat better overall. Or at least slightly more encouraging. A big second half of the season could propel them into the playoff conversation – the division is still up for grabs. I’m not going to spend a ton of time breaking down the Cardinals starter for today – ESPN lists it as Jordan Montgomery, who has actually been solid this season. I don’t know that it matters because even if Montgomery wasn’t with the team or whoever starts today, the rest of the team was in London.
The books are listing the Cardinals with no starter, so recognize that the play is valid no matter who the starter is. I’m taking the Astros behind Valdez at -115. There is no first five line but if that is available at -125 or better, I’ll take that as well. I think the Cardinals will struggle in this one.
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