The Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros square off on Saturday with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m ET. The game takes place at Minute Maid Park in Houston and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. Dean Kremer (5-4, 3.45 ERA) will start for the Orioles and the Astros will send José Urquidy (12-4, 3.63 ERA) to the mound.
Baltimore (66-59) sits in fourth place in the AL East and yet they continue to be baseball’s unexpected success story. With the new expanded wild card format, the Orioles are just 2.5 games out of the final wild card spot after many pegged this season to be a rebuilding year. Instead, Baltimore continues to add to the win column with their latest by way of a 2-0 win over the Astros in the series opener. The win gives the Orioles back-to-back wins, with the team having won four of their last five overall.
Houston (81-46) may have been shutout in their 2-0 loss to Baltimore on Friday, but they aren’t panicking in regards to their place in the standings. The Astros have a firm grip atop the AL West with an 11.5-game lead over the second-place Seattle Mariners, and Houston has the best winning percentage in the American League overall. Much of the Astros’ success this season has been a result of their talent on the mound, with Houston having the second-lowest team ERA in baseball with 3.05.
Orioles vs. Astros
Pitchers: Dean Kremer vs. José Urquidy
First pitch: 7:10 p.m ET
Orioles local broadcast: MASN
Astros local broadcast: AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Astros -1.5 (+120)
Run total: 8
Moneyline odds: Orioles +150, Astros -175
Moneyline pick: Astros -175
Houston has a dominant record of 42-19 at home, and the Astros rank eighth in runs per game with 4.60. It’s hard to picture back-to-back shutout performances for the Astros, whose offense should outmatch the Orioles in this one. Take the favorites to bounce back with a win.
Player prop pick: Alex Bregman over 0.5 hits (-250)
In the last two weeks, Bregman leads Houston in batting average (.372) and he’s coming off back-to-back performances with two hits in each game. Bregman has seven hits overall in his past five games and should add another to box score with the Astros unlikely to cough up another goose egg at the plate in Saturday’s contest.
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