The Houston Astros are looking to take the rubber match against the Miami Marlins in their three-game series on Wednesday.
Miami took the series opener, but Houston bounced back with a 6-5 win on Tuesday night. Now, the two teams play an early evening matchup with two of their top pitchers on the mound.
Justin Verlander (7-6, 3.19 ERA) will make his third start since being acquired by the Astros at the trade deadline. He’s allowed five earned runs across 13.0 innings of work in his first two starts back in a Houston uniform.
He squares off with Marlins lefty Jesus Luzardo, who has struggled as of late but has a 3.91 ERA in 24 appearances in 2023.
Let’s break down the odds for this game and my best bet:
Astros vs. Marlins odds, run line and total
Astros vs. Marlins prediction and pick
The Astros are 1-1 in Verlander’s two starts since coming back to the team, but he’s really turned his season around over the last few months.
The veteran right-hander has a 1.95 ERA since June 26, posting a 5-2 win/loss record in nine starts. He’s looking like the Cy Young award winner that he was in 2022, and that’s a great sign for Houston in this game and down the stretch of the season.
This is also a favorable matchup for Verlander, as the Marlins are 23rd in Major League Baseball in OPS against right-handed pitching. They’re fourth in the league against left-handed pitching, which is why I bet Miami against Framber Valdez, but this is a different scenario.
Sticking with the hitting side of things, it’s important to note that Houston is sixth in the league in OPS against lefties, a bad sign for Luzardo.
Over his last three starts, Luzardo has allowed 15 earned runs, 22 hits and five homers in just 13.1 innings of work (10.13 ERA).
He’s set a career-high in innings pitched by more than 30, so it’s possible that he’s experiencing a little fatigue down the stretch of this season.
I’ll fade him here against a strong Houston lineup.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.