Cleveland Guardians @ Houston Astros 8/1/23 Free Pick, MLB Odds, MLB Predictions

Cleveland Guardians (53-54) at Houston Astros (60-47)

Game Info: Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 at  XXX p.m. EST (XXX)

Betting Odds: Guardians ML (+160) - Over/Under (8.5)

Pick: Guardians ML (+160)

Tuesday evening brings us to Minute Maid Park in Houston as the Cleveland Guardians and the Houston Astros will play the second game of a three-game series. Both of these teams are locked in the middle of a playoff race in their respective divisions, and both of them can use some victories in this series to propel themselves into the top spot within their divisions as well. Which makes the middle game of this series that much more important here on Tuesday night. 

The Cleveland Guardians will be looking to bounce back after they collapsed in their game on Monday night against the Houston Astros. Cleveland held a two run lead late into the game before their bullpen gave Houston fout huge runs in the late innings of the game. It is a problem that has followed Cleveland around for the majority of the season as they have been surrendering leads late in the game because of less than impressive pitching out of their bullpen. The Cleveland Guardians bullpen was expected to be among one of the best units in all of major league baseball this season, and while the numbers might say they are up there in terms of rankings, the product on the field tells you that they have been well below average on the year. 

Their bullpen is now giving away at least 20 games on the season, which has left them with a mediocre record. Had some of those games not been choked away this season, this Cleveland team would be among the best record in the American League on the year. They would also be viewed as way more of a threat as the postseason is quickly approaching, and they will be looking to get things together as we enter the final two months of the 2023 Major League Baseball season. They will be sending out their young rookie Gavin Williams to the mound for the middle game of the series against Houston on Tuesday night. He is having a solid rookie campaign and while he hasn’t been picking up victories, he surely is looking effective when he’s out there on the mound. He comes into this game looking to pick up the second victory of his career and help Cleveland get back to .500 on the year.

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The Houston Astros started out the 2023 Major League Baseball season with a bit of a sluggish performance. As the year has gone on, they have improved throughout the season, and now they are only a handful of games out of first place in the American League West division. If this roster can remain healthy and consistent, they have a real legitimate shot at defending their World Series championship in this year’s postseason. Their starting pitching has been solid and their lineup is crushing the baseball throughout all nine spots in the order. They come into this game with 60 victories through their first 107 games of the 2023 Major League Baseball season and they will be looking to officially clinch the series with a second consecutive victory over Cleveland here on Tuesday night.

Framber Valdez is expected to get the ball in the middle game of the series against Cleveland here on Tuesday night at home. He was expected to be their number one starting pitcher after the departure of Justin Verlander over the off-season. However, Valdez has had plenty of ups and downs this season, but when he takes the mound and brings his best stuff he is nearly unhittable regardless of who is in the lineup opposing him. He will be looking to find that “best stuff” in the middle game of the series against Cleveland on Tuesday as the guardians have struggled at hitting against solid starting pitching this season. 

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Cleveland is 30-23 after a loss this season

- Cleveland is 47-39 with zero rest this season

- Valdez is coming off of his worst start of the season at home

I expect Cleveland to bounce back in the second game of the series against Houston here on Tuesday night. As the Guardians, I’ve been pretty consistent when Gavin Williams takes the mound for them despite him constantly picking up no decisions. I look for them to put some runs on the board against a struggling Framber Valdez, and for Cleveland to grab a much-needed win on the road here on Tuesday night.

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