Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros Betting Preview
The Houston Astros (21-19, 8-11 home) welcome the Chicago Cubs (19-21, 9-10 away) to the Lone Star state for a rare three-game interleague series. The two franchises haven’t faced each other since the first half of the 2019 season.
Monday’s first pitch is at 8:10 p.m. EST inside Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Houston is the betting favorite (-195 moneyline), and the over/under total is eight runs.
What to Know – Chicago Cubs
Chicago comes to Houston after losing the final two games of the series over the weekend against the Minnesota Twins. The Cubs remain in contention through the first two months in the NL Central, sitting four games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
The expected starter for the Cubs is right-hander Jameson Taillon (0-2, 6.41 ERA, 1.47 WHIP). Taillon has struggled in his two May starts, lasting just 5.2 innings combined in both outings. Through 19.2 innings of action, the 31-year-old has allowed 14 earned runs, 23 hits, walked six, and struck out 25 batters.
Offensively, the Cubs are fourth in the majors and second in the NL sporting a .266 team batting average and scoring 4.8 runs per game. The pitching staff for the Cubs sits 11th in the MLB with a 3.91 team ERA.
Patrick Wisdom is tied for second in the majors swatting 12 home runs and leads the Cubs with 23 runs batted in. Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ are both hitting .303 with Hoerner pacing Chicago scoring 25 runs.
What to Know – Houston Astros
The Astros have heated up lately, winning four of their last five matchups to get above .500. Houston jumped to second in the AL West, trailing the Texas Rangers by four games.
Southpaw Framber Valdez (3-4, 2.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) gets the ball for the Astros. The sixth-year pro has been one of Houston’s best assets on the hill this year and comes in off his best start of the season. Valdez has logged 53.0 innings, surrendering 14 earned runs on 45 hits and 10 walks with 57 strikeouts.
Houston’s offense averages 4.3 runs per game behind a .238 team batting average that ranks 20th in the majors. The pitching staff for the Astros is second in the MLB featuring a 3.29 team ERA.
Yordan Alvarez is on pace to crush his season-high total for RBIs. Alvarez has already driven in 37 this season, tied for 2nd in the majors. Kyle Tucker (26 RBIs) and Jeremy Pena (21 RBIs) have also contributed to the run production in the early going for the defending World Series champions.
The Pick is In
Houston has gotten where they are this year behind an excellent pitching staff while Chicago has leaned on their young offense through the first 40 games. Valdez has been the ace of the staff, and his presence on the mound should be all the Astros need to notch a victory in the series opener.
The Pick: Houston Astros ML