Guardians vs. Astros prediction and odds for Monday, July 31 (Target total)

How will the Astros offense fare against Noah Syndergaard in his Guardians' debut?
Jul 30, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits a single
Jul 30, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits a single / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians start an early week series on Monday in hopes of securing a division lead by the end of it.

The Astros enter Monday's contest a game behind the Texas Rangers for the American League West lead while the Guardians are a half-game behind the Minnesota Twins at the top of the AL Central.

The Guardians will start Noah Syndergaard for the first time after acquiring him from the Los Angeles Dodgers, how will he fare against Houston's offense.

Here are the odds and our best bet:

Guardians vs. Astros odds, run line and total

Guardians vs. Astros prediction and pick

This is not the 'Thor' we once knew with the New York Mets. Syndergaard has been a disaster all season, posting a 7.16 ERA while allowing more than 11 hits per nine innings and two home runs per nine.

He hasn't made a big league start since June 7, and I expect more struggles against the Astros lineup that is top 10 in wRC+. Syndergaard's diminished velocity, six strikeouts per nine, is going to be a major issue against Houston's bats that has the fourth lowest strikeout percentage this season.

However, the Guardians offense may be up to the task, top five in batting average over the last 15 days, per MLB.com, hitting .274 as a group. Rookie J.P. France has put up strong numbers to date, 2.87 ERA through 14 big league starts, but his xERA is 4.34, a sign that some regression may be in store for him.

I can't trust either pitcher on Monday, I'll take the over.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.