MLB: Can You Bet on Houston Astros and the Over?

American League West Leaders Thriving on Low-Scoring Games

No team has cashed out more unders in MLB than the Houston Astros, who continue to befuddle the sportsbooks expecting them to engage in higher-scoring affairs. Those looking at Astros betting odds going forward should take this trend into account, as the sample size is now plenty large enough. What is the best bet on the Houston Astros?

Let’s look at why this phenomenon exists and analyze whether it will continue.

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching

With future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander already flirting with another Cy Young Award atop a quality rotation – and the best bullpen in baseball locking down opponents late… The Astros are as finicky as they come, but is it a trend we need to hone in on when thinking of the best bet on the Houston Astros?

They allow 3.27 runs per game, second-lowest in the majors behind the New York Yankees. This has been one cause of the team’s 16-40record on the overs in Vegas. Many of those 40 unders (24, to be exact) came in May, when the staff produced an incredible 2.26 ERA.

That kind of number is hard to sustain. Sure enough, once the calendar turned, the trend began to level off. Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Seattle was just the second under in six June contests for Houston.

Inevitably, injuries will surface. Only six men have made a start for the Astros this year, with four of them yet to miss a turn. They are one of three teams (Toronto, Seattle) with six or fewer pitchers to make a start. Once a physical issue or two crops up, manager Dusty Baker will have some harder decisions to make and probably won’t get the same results.

That’s speculative, of course, but it stands to reason that the grind of the season will lead to some higher-scoring affairs and some changes in the daily betting odds on Houston Astros.

Hitting, Hitting, Hitting?

Complementing the excellent work on the mound has been some very mediocre results at the plate. Houston entered Wednesday ranked 20th in the majors with a .235 average and 21st in runs (231), a category it won last year.

Consider that the Astros have hit the under four times since May 23 in games in which they’ve given up at least six runs. That only happens when your offense lays a complete egg, and Houston has done that often in 2022 – its been shut out five times and held to one run five times.

The primary culprits have been Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel, who just so happen to rank 1-2 on the team in at-bats. They are hitting .219 and .217, respectively, with limited power. Bregman, who clubbed 41 homers in his last full season, has six in 2022. Gurriel led the AL last year with a .319 average.

If you took either of them when making your Astros prop bets before the season started, you’ll need a blistering stretch at some point to have a chance.

But maybe that will happen. Bregman is traditionally a second-half player, batting .333 in August for his career and sporting a .924 OPS after the All-Star break. Gurriel has hit at least .300 in his career in June, July and August.

Additionally, Bregman’s BABIP is a measly .227 and Gurriel’s isn’t much higher at .242. Expect the team’s traditional No. 3 hitter and No. 5 hitter (somewhat important slots in any functioning lineup) to break out soon. And with that, the overs will come when you bet on Houston Astros.

Start Taking the Over

When it’s all said and done, the Astros’ run of unders may come down to one aberrational stretch from mid-April to the end of May. They were 7-32 in that span against the over, a remarkable set of results considering the Vegas objective of leveling the playing field. In all other games, Houston’s score is 9-8 against the over and it was 86-68 last year.

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