Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals conclude their worst versus first series in the National League Central. The Cardinals are -135 favorites over the Astros with an over/under run total of 8.5.
The Houston Astros played as well as they could play on Wednesday and not so surprisingly they pulled of the win against the first place Cards. Jason Bourgeois, Jason Michaels, and J.R. Towles each had two hits in the Astros 11 hit four run offensive effort. Bud Norris was sensational on the mound allowing just one hit and one run over eight inning of work to get his fourth win of the year and Mark Melancon pitched the ninth inning to get his sixth save of the year. For the series finale against St. Louis Houston starts J.A. Happ who has lost his last three decisions. For the year Happ has allowed 63 hits and 36 earned runs while striking out 54 in 69.2 innings of work.
The St. Louis Cardinals lead the NL Central but after Wednesday’s loss their lead shrunk to just a game and a half. The Cardinals bats went on vacation as Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman each had a hit but that was the extent of the St. Louis offense. Jaime Garcia allowed seven hits and three runs over five innings of work to take his second loss of the season as he got no support at all. St. Louis looks to take the series on Thursday as they start Lance Lynn for the second time this season. In his first start Lynn allowed four hits and five earned runs while striking out five in 5.1 innings of work.
Houston is 1-4 in their last five home games against a team with a winning record, 8-20 in their last 28 home games against a right handed starter, and 3-14 in Happ’s last 17 starts. St. Louis is 6-1 in their last seven against the NL Central, 4-1 in their last five games overall, and 7-3 in their last 10 road games. St. Louis is 5-1 in their last six meetings.
I see some runs being scored here as the bats had the day off on Wednesday. The over is the play.