Back-to-back-to-back eighth inning home runs from Jorge Soler, Luis Arraez, and Josh Bell lifted the Miami Marlins to a 5-1 win over the Houston Astros. The Marlins have won three straight and are 63-57 while Houston has dropped their last two to fall to 68-52.
For Game 2 of this three-game set the Astros will go with Cristian Javier on the mound against Johnny Cueto. Javier is 8-2 despite his 4.36 ERA across 22 starts while Cueto has made just five starts and is 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA.
Even after yesterday’s loss the Astros are favored on the road in Miami as they fight for the top spot in the AL West and the Marlins try to stay in the National League Wild Card race.
Astros vs. Marlins odds, run line and total
Astros vs. Marlins prediction and pick
The Astros have scored just one run in each of their last two games after scoring 11 in each of the two prior games, so their bats have suddenly gone cold. Over the past 30 days they’re still fourth in runs scored and fifth in home runs. I wouldn’t expect that to be a long term problem, or even a short term one because they’re facing Cueto today.
Cueto has allowed 7 home runs in the six games he’s pitched this season and only has 23 strikeouts in 27 innings. His walk rate isn’t bad, but he doesn't exactly keep the basepaths clear for all of these longballs, and his FIP reflects these struggles at 5.82. The Astros still have very hot hitters in their lineup despite the last two days. Jose Altuve has 16 hits in their last seven games and is hitting .552 over that stretch. That includes four doubles and a home run.
Altuve isn’t the only hitter tearing the cover off the ball right now. Kyle Tucker has three homers across those seven games and has driven in 11 runs. Even Alex Bregman, who’s had a down year, has 10 hits and two of them doubles in that stretch.
Yesterday in the loss, the Astros had eight hits and five walks with only two strikeouts, it’s not like they were dominated, they just didn’t string them together. The offense will come back today in a big win. It's like Dory said in Finding Nemo, just keep hitting.
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