After a thrilling four-game series in the Bronx against the Yankees, the Houston Astros will head to Queens for two games against the Mets. This will be the second series between the two teams in as many weeks after the Astros swept the Mets in two games at Minute Maid Park.
Framber Valdez will get the start for the visitors while the Mets will counter with Carlos Carrasco.
Carrasco faced the Astros in the series finale last week but departed with lower back tightness in the third inning after allowing all five of the Astros’ runs.
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The Mets right-hander underwent an MRI, and apparently, the results were encouraging enough that he won’t miss a start. However, this feels like a bit of a risk to put him back in the rotation, especially against this juggernaut Astros lineup.
Let’s look at the matchup and assess which team will have the upper hand heading into Tuesday’s ballgame.
Mets vs. Astros MLB odds
Odds provided by BetMGM
Spread: HOU -1.5 (+125) vs. NYM +1.5 (-155)
Moneyline: HOU (-116) vs. NYM (-102)
Total: Over 8 (-115) | Under 8 (-105)
Mets vs. Astros probable pitchers
Framber Valdez (2.90) vs. Carlos Carrasco (4.42)
Mets vs. Astros prediction
One has to wonder if the Mets are starting to feel the pressure in the division with their lead down to five games over the second-place Braves. Tylor Megill became the latest pitcher in the rotation to land on the IL after suffering a right shoulder strain. That means the Mets are currently without three starters which could explain why they’re opting to pitch Carrasco in this spot.
Unfortunately, the Mets medical staff has a history of making questionable decisions regarding player injuries. Even if Carrasco is healthy, the Astros wouldn’t be at the top of my list for him to face following some back tightness.
Houston’s lineup is familiar with Carrasco from his time in the American League with the Cleveland Guardians. In 111 plate appearances, the Astros are hitting .294 with a .337 wOBA and a .484 xSLG against the Mets right-hander.
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Although Carrasco is 8-3 on the year, his 4.42 ERA is a bit high. And while his advanced stats (3.53 xFIP/ 3.89 xERA) point to some positive regression, I’m going to downgrade him slightly because of the opponent he’ll be facing.
The Mets offense will try to figure out Valdez as he meets them for the first time. Four Mets players have been in the box against Valdez, but their 24 plate appearances amount to just a .182 BA with a .204 wOBA and .231 xSLG.
Valdez comes into this contest at 7-3 with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. His predictive numbers are even more favorable than Carrasco’s, given his 3.20 xFIP and 3.11 xERA. My model reflects those numbers as it makes Houston as high as a -136 favorite in this matchup.
Thus, given the sufficient value in the market with Houston at -116, I can only support a play on the road favorites.
Mets vs. Astros pick
Astros ML (-116) (BetMGM)