Last night the Houston Astros blasted their way to a 12-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The red-hot defending champs will look to make it two in a row tonight when they send rookie J.P. France (1-0, 4.11 ERA) to the mound against Milwaukee righty Colin Rea (0-3, 5.52 ERA). First pitch from American Family Field is set for 7:40 p.m. ET.
The Astros are -130 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Brewers are +110 underdogs. The total is set at 9.5.
Astros-Brewers picks: Tuesday, May 23
Out: SP Lance McCullers Jr. (right arm muscle strain), OF/DH Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery), SP Jose Urquidy (right shoulder inflammation)
Out: 1B Luke Voit (neck strigness), RP J.B. Bukauskas (cervical strain), RP Matt Bush (right shoulder), SP Wade Miley (anterior serratus), SP Brandon Woodruff (right shoulder inflammation)
J.P. France vs. Colin Rea
France will be making his fourth start with the Astros after he was called up at the beginning of the month. He’s coming off the worst start of his career when he allowed six runs in 3.2 innings to the Chicago Cubs. The 28-year-old has a pitch mix that includes a fastball, slider, cutter and curveball, and currently ranks in the 71st percentile in hard-hit rate.
Like France, Rea has been serving as a band-aid for his team’s injury-riddled rotation. After going at least five innings in his first five starts this year, Rea only lasted .2 of an inning against the Dodgers on May 10 before only going 3.2 frames his last time out against the Royals. He was sent down to Triple-A last week, but was recalled after starting pitcher Eric Lauer was placed on the injured list yesterday.
While 9.5 is a bit of a steep number, I’m still taking the over. Rea has allowed three or more runs in more than half of his starts this year, while France is coming off a start where he allowed six earned runs. Both of these lineups should be able to get plenty of good swings in tonight in a hitter-friendly park.
Pick: Over 9.5
I’m backing the Brewers to pull off the upset. While Houston’s offense is no joke (they did score 12 runs yesterday, after all), the Brewers haven’t won a series in more than a week, so tonight’s game is crucial for them.