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Houston Astros at Arizona Diamondbacks Betting Preview

The AL and NL West will square off in an interleague battle Tuesday night as the Houston Astros (3-1) take on the Arizona Diamondbacks (1-3). The Diamondbacks will host this one at Chase Field, with first pitch scheduled for 9:40 pm ET.

The Astros opened the season by taking three of four from the Los Angeles Angels. In their last game, on Sunday, the Astros won 4-1.

In the win, Jose Urquidy went five innings, allowing just a single run on four hits. Offensively, the team was led by Alex Bregman, who had two hits and two runs batted in.

After winning on Opening Day Thursday, the Diamondbacks dropped three straight to the San Diego Padres. In the four games, they were outscored 20-11, including a 10-5 loss on Sunday.

Caleb Smith made it just one inning in the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on two hits and three walks. Offensively, Christian Walker homered, but the Diamondbacks did have enough to keep up with their poor pitching.

The Astros are the favorites despite playing on the road. They are -140 to win while the Diamondbacks’ moneyline sits at +130. The spread features Arizona +1.5 (-125), and the over/under for total runs is 9.5.

Astros Hope To Keep Rolling

Despite improvements from other teams in the AL West, the Houston Astros are trying to prove that they are still the team to beat. After winning their first road series, they will look to keep rolling as they travel to Chase Field Tuesday.

Manager Dusty Baker will send 25-year-old righty Luis Garcia to the mound for this one. He was sensational last year, going 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 167 strikeouts in 155.1 innings pitched. His performance last year was strong enough to earn him second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.

While Garcia got second last year, rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena is making an early bid for consideration for this year’s Rookie of the Year award. Faced with the tall task of replacing Carlos Correa, Pena went 6 for 16 with a home run and two runs scored in their first series.

The Astros definitely flashed some power in their opening series, as they have the third-most home runs in the majors with eight. Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker hit two apiece, while Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Aledmys Diaz, and Pena added one each.

Diamondbacks Looking To See Signs Of Improvement

After finishing 52-110 last season, 55 games out of first place in the NL West, there aren’t too many that think Arizona has a chance at competing this season. While they are certainly longshots to win the division (+18000), head coach Torey Lovullo is looking to see signs of improvement this season.

One area that the Diamondbacks need to improve is offensively, where they ranked 25th in scoring last season, averaging just 4.19 runs per game. Unfortunately, through their first four games this season, they rank exactly 25th, averaging 2.75 runs.

That isn’t to say that Arizona doesn’t have some offensive weapons, though. Recently signed to a contract extension, Ketel Marte has the ability to carry an offense after hitting .318/.377/.532 with 14 home runs, 50 runs batted in, and 52 runs scored in just 340 at bats last season.

Acquired from the Astros in a deal a couple of years ago for Zack Greinke, designated hitter Seth Beer had a nice opening series. He went two for nine, including a game-winning home run in their opener.

Another familiar face for the Astros on Arizona’s squad is pitching coach Brett Strom. Trying to carry over the success he had with the Astros, he will send Zac Gallen to the bump to make his first start of the season Monday. Last year, he went 4-10 with a 4.30 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and had 139 strikeouts in 121.1 innings.

Take The Astros -1.5

These two teams are simply on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to competitiveness. The Astros’ World Series window is wide open, while the Diamondbacks still have a slow climb to get back to contention.

For that reason, there is a lot to like about the Astros in this one. Luis Garcia picked up right where he left off last year by firing 5.2 scoreless innings during spring training, and players like Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker are clicking early.

Offensively, the Astros led the majors in scoring last season (5.34 runs per game) and should rank in the top third again this year.

When all is said and done, there is a lot of value in the Astros in this one. Take them to not only win but don’t be surprised if they cover the -1.5 runline (+105) as well.

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