Videos by OutKick
Astros vs. Braves, 7:20 ET
Sometimes the books undervalue a team and you wonder why it could be happening. There aren’t always going to be answers, but we are supposed to take the data available to us, interpret it, and make a decision. Geoff Clark mentioned on the podcast the other day that one of our advantages is that we get to choose which games to play, and which to not. I’m choosing this one because I think we have a value on this game.
The Astros are looking very average to begin the season. I don’t say that just because of the 10-10 record on the year, I say it because they aren’t really doing much of anything above average. Sure they are down one of their leaders Jose Altuve, but come on, that can’t be the only reason for this stumble out of the gate. World Series hangovers are real and proven to be an issue with teams. I’m still not worried about them, but they do need to turn it around. Their starter today is one guy that has been above average on the season and I think will continue to be above average. Framber Valdez continued were he left off last season. He has three consecutive quality starts, and even if he allowed five runs (one earned) in his last start, he’s been good otherwise. Braves hitters don’t have seen Valdez, some significantly more than others, but almost no one has much success against him.
The Braves are certainly on the other side of their start. They raced out to a nice lead in the division and have kept the pedal to the gas even as the Mets are chasing them in the standings. The Braves are just 4-4 at home on the season and 12-2 on the road. I don’t think Atlanta is a super tough place for opponents to play but do think eventually home-field advantage comes through for the Braves. Kyle Wright is taking the bump for the Braves today and he’s been mediocre to start the year. Wright has only two starts on the season. His first one was a three inning, four earned run start against the Reds. Then he went 5.2 innings and allowed two runs to the Royals. Wright has really only had one good season. It was last year. Maybe something finally clicked for him, or maybe it was a fluke. Houston hitters haven’t seen much of him, but haven’t had success in that limited exposure either.
If I’m being honest, I probably won’t get many opportunities to bet on Framber Valdez at -108 in a game. I don’t want to pass up this opportunity. The Braves certainly look like the better team, but Valdez is so reliable and Wright just isn’t. I’m taking Valdez through five at -108 and not looking back.
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