MLB aces Justin Verlander and Merrill Kelly square off Saturday as the Astros and Diamondbacks battle for playoff berths. The Diamondbacks are in good shape with the second Wild Card spot in the NL, but the Marlins, Reds, and Cubs are all within 1.5 games.
The Astros are in a similar situation in the American League. They currently occupy the third Wild Card spot, but the Blue Jays and Mariners are each within a game. One of the three won’t make the Wild Card
Sit back and soak up our Astros vs. Diamondbacks predictions for Saturday night in the desert.
Justin Verlander Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-145)
I chose this prop on Verlander based solely on the matchup and before I even looked at the MLB odds. I don’t know what the oddsmakers at BetUS Sportsbook got into last night, but I think they went deep because Verlander’s strikeout total is set at just 4.5. I’m still sitting here, assuming that I’ve read something wrong.
The Astros clinch a playoff birth with a win tonight.
Justin Verlander is on the bump.
— Will Kunkel (@WillKunkelFOX) September 30, 2023
Sure, Verlander has only gone over this total in a little less than 74% of his starts, but let’s not forget his time with the Mets was a general disaster. As a member of the Astros, Verlander has exceeded this total in four straight and seven of his last nine starts.
The Diamondbacks hit righties well, but not good enough to ignore the discrepancy in the MLB lines compared to the implied odds. At -145 to eclipse 4.5 strikeouts, the Astros vs. Diamondbacks odds tell us that Verlander has a 59.18% probability to cover. But, considering Verlander exceeds this total in 73% of his games, the odds should be closer to -271.
Obviously, we aren’t comparing apples to apples, but the gap in the math is large enough to warrant an MLB bet.
Torey Lovullo on facing Justin Verlander tomorrow:
“We know the landscape. We know what he’s capable of doing. He’s clearly a big-game pitcher, and he is looking forward to this challenge, as are we.” pic.twitter.com/j0FXAWItZZ
— PHNX Diamondbacks (@PHNX_Dbacks) September 30, 2023
Verlander is a horse and is built to win games like this. Next week will be a different story. But during the regular season, Verlander is always a good bet.
Astros vs Diamondbacks Game Information
- Game: Astros vs Diamondbacks
- Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
- Day/Time: Saturday, Sept. 30, 8:10 p.m. ET
- Astros vs Diamondbacks Live Stream: MLB.tv
Astros vs Diamondbacks Betting Lines