According to Bovada the Houston Astros were a fashionable pick to win the AL West, and compelling +1400 third-tier contenders for the World Series. So far, so good: The Astros are off to a 13-6 start (+4.41 betting units), and they’ve lowered their World Series odds to +800 at press time. We could see a preview of the ALCS when Houston visits Cleveland for a three-game set. Game 3 is Thursday at 6:10 PM ET on the MLB Network.
The Tribe (10-8, –4.02 units) have also seen their championship odds narrow from +900 to +650, but they’ve done all their damage against weak competition in the AL Central. That’s one reason why Cleveland leads the majors in pitching at 3.02 FIP. However, Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (4.18 FIP) has been up-and-down in his four starts thus far. He’s scheduled to take the mound for Thursday’s game opposite Charlie Morton (3.14 FIP).
Houston has one of the best pitching staffs in the big leagues, but Morton has been snakebitten somewhat; he’s allowed a .353 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) since coming over from the National League in the offseason. Kluber has allowed a career-low .261 BABIP thus far. For more odds see www.bovusa.com