The suddenly surging Cleveland Guardians will look to continue their quest towards the top of the American League Central when they welcome the defending champion Houston Astros to Progressive Field for a three-game series. Cristian Javier (7-1, 2.84 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while star rookie Logan Allen (3-2, 2.76 ERA) will toe the rubber for Cleveland.
Houston is a slight -115 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Cleveland checks in at -105. The run total is set at 8.
Astros-Guardians picks: Friday, June 9
Day to day: OF/DH Yordan Alvarez (oblique)
Out: Lance McCullers Jr. (right forearm strain), OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery), SP Jose Urquidy (right shoulder inflammation)
Out: SP Cal Quantrill (left oblique strain), SP/RP Cody Morris (right teres major strain), SP Peyton Battenfield (left oblique strain)
Cristian Javier vs. Logan Allen
Javier enters tonight as one of of the hottest pitchers in baseball, as he’s only allowed six runs across 29 innings in his past five starts. The righty has gone at least five innings in all of his starts this year, and enters play today with a WHIP under one. He ranks in the 68th percentile in strikeout rate, the 82 percentile in walk rate and the 77th percentile in whiff rate.
He’ll duel against the lefty Allen, who has won his last two starts after going seven innings with 10 strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles and throwing six innings of two-run ball against the Minnesota Twins his last time out. Allen ranks in the 72nd percentile in walk rate and the 54th percentile in strikeout rate.
After the Guardians cleared this over in two of three games against the Red Sox, I think their offense comes back to earth tonight. Both of these teams have solid starters on the mound (and a strong crop of relievers waiting in the wings), so I’m backing the under.
Pick: Under 8
I’m backing the Guardians because of their superstar advantage, as Alvarez will be hampered (if he plays), while Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez is coming off his first career three-homer game.