In an unusual Interleague matchup, the two franchises that most recently switched leagues will play Wednesday as the Houston Astros host the Milwaukee Brewers. After beating the Brewers 10-8 on Tuesday, Houston is a -125 favorite to win on Wednesday.
After dominating throughout April and May, the Astros haven’t missed a beat in June. Houston is 8-2 since the calendar flipped, giving them the most wins in baseball at 46, one more than the Dodgers. All of those wins give the Astros a comfortable nine-game lead atop the AL West over the red-hot Rangers.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are holding onto a slim half-game lead over the Cubs at the top of the NL Central standings. Tuesday’s loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Brew Crew, so they’ll be eager to get back to their winning ways, especially as their road trip takes them to the West Coast this weekend.
The Few, the Proud
Brandon Woodruff will start for the Brewers on Wednesday. He’s been one of the few constants in a Milwaukee rotation that’s been plagued by injuries this season. Over his 13 starts, Woodruff is 8-1 with a 3.87 ERA. He’s been the team’s good-luck charm for much of the season. However, Woodruff has been roughed up in his last couple of starts, giving up nine runs on 14 hits over 10 innings. Of course, both starts came against the Pirates, so it could just be a bad matchup against a division rival.
That being said, facing the Houston lineup won’t be easy by any stretch. Even with Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer on the IL, the Astros continue to plug away offensively. Even with all the missing pieces, Houston put 10 runs on the board against the Brewers on Tuesday. The likes of Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, and Michael Brantley are all capable of doing damage. Youngster Yordan Alvarez has also made an instant impact, hitting a home run in two of his first six at-bats in the big leagues.
Don’t Stop Me Now
The Astros will send ace Justin Verlander to the mound on Wednesday. The ageless wonder is 9-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 14 starts, as the 36-year-old is having one of his best seasons. He’s also striking out more than a batter per inning, so he’s still able to overpower hitters. Even when he was a little off in his last outing, allowing three runs over 6.1 innings, he still did enough to give the Astros a chance to win.
Against the Brewers, Verlander’s biggest challenge will be stopping Christian Yelich, who is 13 for 23 with six extra-base hits in his last six games. Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal are also red-hot right now, although Verlander has handled Moustakas throughout his career. Yelich may not be able to do it himself, so the Brewers will need some of their complementary pieces to contribute against Verlander.
Wouldn’t Bet Against Him
It’s difficult betting against the Astros under any circumstances this season. With Verlander starting, it’s almost foolish to do so. Bet on the Astros to beat the Brewers on Wednesday.