New York (Pineda) at Houston (McCullers) -165 O/U 8
The Astros are 12-2 in Lance McCullers 14 previous starts this season, making him #2 in MLB in profitability among big league starters this year, behind only Clayton Kershaw. And there’s absolutely no reason to think that McCullers won’t be a bet-on hurler against the Yankees again tonight.
McCullers dominated this lineup in the Bronx last month, throwing six strong innings of four hit shutout ball. This isn’t new or different – McCullers advanced metric numbers are right there with Chris Sale and Alex Wood, two of the best pitchers in baseball this year. With a strikeout rate of more than 11 K’s per nine innings and a ground ball rate of higher than 60%, McCullers is in truly elite territory. Pitching behind one of the most potent lineups in baseball (21 runs in their just concluded three game set against the A’s), with a rock solid bullpen to close out the game behind him, McCullers is in prime positon to continue his winning ways.
Michael Pineda has one fatal flaw that has doomed him to mediocrity – his vulnerability to the gopher ball. Pineda’s got great advanced metric stats, with one exception – his home run to fly ball ratio, right there with bottom tier hurlers like James Shields. Pineda has allowed home runs on more than 22% of his fly balls this year, bad news against the hot hitting Astros lineup. New York’s bullpen just suffered several hiccups in their series against the White Sox, and last night’s long rain delay means the Yanks are likely to be a tired team today. Throw in a 2-8 skid on the highway for the Bronx Bombers and this is clearly chalk worth laying!