MLB betting cheat sheet: Houston, we have a problem

Updated: April 19, 2016


It may be early on in the Major League Baseball season, but the Astros are struggling, especially their bullpen. Covers Expert Jesse Schule breaks down their their issues and all the best betting notes in our early week MLB cheat sheet.

Here’s a comprehensive look at betting notes for the mid week major-league schedule:

Houston, we have a problem

The Astros were the favorite to win the American League West this year, but so far it is the other Texas team doing all the damage. The Rangers are in first, while Houston sits in the division cellar, albeit just two game back. The bullpen was a strength for Houston last year, but the Astros relievers rank 23rd in the majors with a 4.71 ERA so far in 2016. They relied heavily on the long-ball last year, ranking second in the majors in homes runs with 230, just two fewer than the Blue Jays. It’s going to be difficult for them to keep that kind of pace again this year.

He’s Back…

Veteran right-fielder Mark Trumbo hit 34 home runs with the Angels in 2013, but struggled since moving on from LA. He hit 13 home runs in just 88 games for the Diamondbacks in 2014, and split the 2015 season between Seattle and Arizona, hitting 22 home runs and batting .262.  He appears to have found a home in Baltimore, where he’s hitting .386 with five home runs and 11 RBIs so far this season.

My Cousin Vinny

Nobody would have expected 23-year-old Vincent Velasquez to be one of two major league pitchers to have an ERA of 0.00 so far this season. His 26 strikeouts are second to only Noah Syndergaard, who has 29 but has started one more game. Velasquez will make his next start at home in Game 2 of this week’s series versus the Mets and it looks like another favorable spot for right-hander. The Mets rank 25th in the majors in runs scored, and are hitting just .226 on the season.

WAG of the Week

Speaking of things hot in Philly. Here is Krystle Campbell, wife of Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader.

Hitting Notes

*Prince Fielder ranks second in the American League with 11 RBIs, but he’s really struggled at the plate hitting just .167 so far.  He hit .305 with 23 home runs and 98 RBIs in 158 games with Texas last season. He might just get back on track this week against the Astros, as he’s hitting .374 lifetime versus the Houston pitching staff. He’s hitting .313 with a pair of doubles, a home run and seven RBIs lifetime versus Scott Feldman who starts Game 1.

*Josh Donaldson lead the American League with 123 RBIs last season, and he’s out in front once again with an AL best 12 RBIs in 2016. He could add to those totals in Baltimore this week, as he’s hitting .308 with a 21 RBIs in 98 career at bats versus the Orioles staff. He’ll face Chris Tillman in the series finale, and he’s hitting .304 with a home run and six RBIs in 23 at bats versus Tillman.

Pitching Notes

*Zack Greinke was the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball last year, but he’s still in search of his first victory here in 2016. He got off to a bad start, dealing with an illness in his season debut. He got rocked for seven runs on nine hits over just four innings in a loss to the Rockies on Opening Day, but has gotten better in each start since. He allowed a pair of runs on six hits while fanning five in 7 1/3 innings in a no decision versus San Diego in his last start. His next start comes at San Francisco opposite Madison Bumgarner.

*Derek Holland is off to a hot start in 2016. The veteran southpaw is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA, and he tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over Seattle his last time out. He will toe the rubber for the Rangers in Game 1 versus Houston, and he’s been good in previous meetings with the Astros, going 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in seven appearances over the last three seasons.

Totals Trend

The Royals are doing what they always do, by not scoring a lot of runs, but holding opponents to fewer, making them a hot under play to start the season. They are scoring 3.58 runs per game, with a team ERA of 2.89 through their first 12 games and have gone over the total twice this season. They are facing one of the better over teams so far this season when they begin a three-game series with Detroit (8-3 O/U) Tuesday.

Injury Notes

*The Indians are expecting to get Lonnie Chisenhall back from a forearm injury in time for Wednesday’s game against the Mariners. He’s currently on a rehab assignment in Triple-A.

*The injury bug has hit the Colorado Rockies, with both D.J. LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon being the latest casualties. Blackmon has landed on the 15 day DL with turf toe, while LeMahieu is questionable Tuesday with a groin injury.

Tuesday’s Weather Report

* There will be a 10 mile per hour pitchers wind in Minnesota when the Twins host the Brewers, in the day’s lone matinee game this afternoon. The O/U is set at 8.5.

* In Cincinnati, there is a slight chance 17 percent chance of rain for tonight’s game versus the Rockies. The O/U is currently at 8.5 runs.

* There is also a slight 15 percent chance of rain in Kansas City, where the Royals host the Tigers. Tonight’s O/U is currently at 8.0 runs.

* In Arlington, there is a 40 percent chance of rain when the Rangers host the Astros. There is also a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast. The O/U for the game is currently at 9.0.

* The Windy City could live up to its name Tuesday, with a pitchers wind of 12-15 miles per hour gusting in from left field. There is also a 14 percent chance of rain. The O/U is currently 8.5.

* In St. Louis, there is a 37 percent chance of rain and a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast for tonight’s showdown between the Cardinals and Cubs. The O/U is currently 7.5.

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