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Astros Will Double Up on Struggling Indians

The Houston Astros look to make it two straight wins over the struggling Cleveland Indians when the AL World Series hopefuls meet in Game 2 of a four-game set on Friday night. Houston (49-33) smacked Cleveland around to pick up a  7-2 win in Thursday’s series opener as predicted.

The Astros are in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games up on the Oakland A’s. Cleveland is in second place in the AL Central standings, five games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox. Houston is a solid road favorite. The MLB odds for this matchup are live in the BetUS online sportsbook right now.

Starter Framber Valdez of the Houston Astros pitches against Amed Rosario of the Cleveland Indians
Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians

When: Friday, July 2, 2021 at 7:10 p.m. ET

Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH

TV: ATT SportsNet-SW, Bally Sports Great Lakes

Starting Pitchers

Houston Astros – Lance McCullers Jr. – RHP – (5-1, 2.94 ERA, 73 SO)

Cleveland Indians – Sam Hentges – RHP – (1-2, 7.32 ERA, 38 SO)

MLB Odds

Houston -185

Cleveland +165

Run Line Odds

Houston -1½ (-120)

Cleveland +1½ (Ev)

Total: 9

Astros Should Unleash Offense Again

José Altuve hit a grand slam to silence a constantly booing road crowd. Yordan Álvarez and Michael Brantley also homered in the win.

Altuve connected for his fifth career slam — and second this season — in the fifth inning off Indians rookie J.C. Mejia (1-3) to give Houston a 5-2 lead they would never relinquish.

“A tremendous lift for us,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We ain’t been scoring but one or two runs a game in that whole series with Baltimore, so that was huge. It gave us some breathing room.

On Friday night, Lance McCullers Jr. gets the start. The right-hander has not allowed more than two earned runs in three consecutive starts and five of his last six starts overall. The 28-year-old limited Detroit to a pair of earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings of a 3-2 road win on Saturday.

Indians Need Hentges To Rebound

Cleveland has lost three straight and five of its last six games overall. Right fielder Harold Ramirez went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI in the loss and pinch hitter Yu Chang added two hits.

On Friday night, Sam Hentges gets the start. The 24-year-old was rocked in his last start, allowing six earned runs on six hits – including two home runs – while walking four and striking out only one batter in only 3.1 innings against Minnesota on Sunday.

McCullers Leads Astros To Victory

Houston is the easy pick to win by at least two runs behind McCullers Jr. The right-hander has been a model of consistency and should easily get the win as Houston pounds Hentges into submission.

The Astros have gone 10-2 in their last dozen games following a win and 13-3 in their last 16 games against teams with a winning record. On the flip side, the Indians are 1-4 in their last five games as a home underdog and an identical 1-4 in their last five home games against Houston.

The Astros are 7-2 in their last nine games as a road favorite, 6-2 in their last 8 games against a left-handed starter, and 5-1 in their last six meetings against Cleveland. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, the Astors are the pick to win and cash in.

Pick: Houston -185

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