Astros Atop AL West
The Cleveland Guardians wrap up a three-game series with the host Houston Astros on Wednesday night after the teams split the first two games. Houston took Tuesday’s contest to win for the third time in four games and hang onto a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West. Cleveland has alternated between wins and losses over its last five games and sits in third place in the AL Central standings.
Guardians vs Astros Game Information
- Game: Guardians (18-21) vs Astros (28-16)
- Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 8:10 p.m. ET
- Guardians vs Astros Live Stream: MLB.tv
Inconsistency Plagues Guardians
The Cleveland Guardians continue to take one step forward and one step back. The team’s 18-21 mark a result of the lack of consistency. After putting up six runs in the series opener, Cleveland came back with just three runs in Tuesday’s loss, scoring single runs in three different innings.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez had another big game on Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs. Ramirez is batting .293 with 10 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, an MLB-best 43 RBIs and 24 runs scored. He’s homered in three of his last four games.
Outfielder Josh Naylor is the next best power threat on the Guardians, putting up six home runs and 23 RBIs in 23 games. Naylor is 0-for-8 in this series, however, after having home runs in each of his previous two appearances.
Cleveland will have right-hander Cal Quantrill on the mound for Wednesday’s series finale. Quantrill is 1-2 with a 3.48 ERA in seven starts, striking out 25 in 41⅓ innings. Quantrill had a solid outing in his last start despite taking a no-decision. He went seven innings against the CIncinnati Reds on Thursday, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out five and walking none.
Clutch Hits Lift Astros
The Houston Astros have some power in their lineup, but they don’t always need it. Tuesday’s game featured a pair of two-out hits that drove in runs, something that pleased manager Dusty Baker.
“Those usually win ball games, those two-out RBI hits,” Baker said after Tuesday’s win. “You don’t need a homer. You just need a hit and we had a couple of them.”
Of course, homers help too, and the Astros got one from outfielder Kyle Tucker in the win. Tucker is batting .240 with seven doubles, eight home runs, 29 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
Outfielder Yordan Alvarez was 1-for-4 with an RBI, though he didn’t add to his team-high 12 home runs, which are tied for second in the majors. Alvarez is batting .250 with four doubles, a triple, 25 RBIs and 26 runs scored.
Right-hander Cristian Javier will make his fifth start and ninth overall appearance in Wednesday’s contest. The 25-year-old is 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA, striking out 39 in 31⅓ innings. Javier took a tough loss in his last start, going six innings against the Texas Rangers on Friday and allowing just one run on three hits while striking out nine and walking one.
Guardians vs Astros Head-to-Head
The Houston Astros dominated the season series against the Cleveland Guardians in 2021, taking six of the seven matchups, including two of three at Minute Maid Park. Cleveland hasn’t won the season series with Houston since the 2017 season (the teams didn’t play in 2020).
The Guardians have had success in Houston in recent years, going 6-6 at Minute Maid Park over the 2017, 2018 and 2019 campaigns. Looking at the MLB lines for Wednesday’s contest, the Astros are heavily favored to win the series with a second straight victory.
Guardians vs Astros Betting Lines
C. Quantrill -R
|+1½ -125||+160||8½ -110o||3½ +110o
C. Javier -R
|-1½ +105||-180||8½ -110u||4½ -110o
Guardians vs Astros Prediction
The Cleveland Guardians just have not been consistent enough offensively to be able to piece together wins. That’s going to be a problem against the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
When making your MLB picks, take Houston to take the series with the win at home.
Pick: Houston Astros -180