Baseball Picks: Brewers at Astros

Gallardo is 13-3 against the Astros in 16 starts including three wins at Minute Maid in three starts since 2011

 

The Milwaukee Brewers are winding down a long road trip Thursday in Houston and they’ll hand the ball to Yovani Gallardo today in hopes of finishing on a high note.

 

[dropcap2]G[/dropcap2]allardo was knocked around by Oakland earlier this month but then responded by throwing 14 shutout innings his next two starts vs. Cincinnati and Miami on the road. Gallardo had good control and didn’t allow a home run, ranking him as one of the top groundball pitchers in the National League this season.

 

In seven road starts Gallardo has only yielded three long balls and they were all during the same game at Philadelphia. Take away that start and the right-hander has pitched 36 other road innings with a career-best GB:FO ratio.

 

Gallardo didn’t have a great April but his only day-time road start since then was June 15 and he held the Reds scoreless through six IP (3 hits and 2 BB). Against the Astros he is 13-3 all-time in 16 starts including three wins at Minute Maid in three starts since 2011. He went past the sixth in each of those starts and rang up 20 K’s in 21.2 IP combined. His team also scored 20 runs for him in support.

 

[quote_text color=”#000000″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Yovani Gallardo has produced a team record 20-0 (+$2,000) since June 24, 2010 when he starts as a favorite after he had a WHIP of less than one his last start[/quote_text]

 

That 20-0 record includes 6-straight wins on the road where Milwaukee’s opponent has averaged 1.5 runs per game (RPG) and not one team scored more than two runs.

 

HOME STYLE

Houston chucker Lucas Harrell shutout the Brewers through 5.1 IP last time he played them at home but got rocked for 5 earned runs through 5 IP last season in Milwaukee. Location could be a big boost for each of these pitchers today and it helps Harrell’s cause that the Brewers have been on the road for more than a week, demonstrated in this SportsDatabase.com query:

 

A and p:W and RG3 and site streak <= -8 and season >= 2004

 

MAN BEHIND THE MASK

Dan Bellino is behind home plate today in Houston and road teams have had a nice run with Bellino the past couple years, going 30-17 for a profit of +18.4 units:

 

HPU = Dan Bellino and A and season >= 2012

 

Go back to 2011 with Bellino and we see a nice return for “Under” bettors, hitting close to 65-percent.

 

HPU = Dan Bellino and H and season >= 2011

 

MLB PICKS

Since the start of 2012 the Astros are 4-11 SU and 3-8-4 O/U at home in the rubber match of a 3-game series (t:team = Astros and H and season >= 2012 and RG3).

 

We like the chance of this game staying low but Houston’s pen has the worst ERA in baseball (4.68) so we’ll leave it in the starter’s hands with this play:

Pick: Take the first 5 innings “Under” 4 (-101)