The best pitching duel of Monday’s MLB lineup has left-hander Dallas Keuchel (10-3, 2.03 ERA) facing right-hander Carlos Carrasco (10-6, 3.88 ERA) as the Houston Astros (48-36, 20-20 Away) visit the Cleveland Indians (38-43, 15-23 Home) at Progressive Field (7:10 PM Eastern).
The Astros should be excited to see Keuchel back on the mound after losing their last two outings against the Boston Red Sox and allowing 24 runs over their last four games. Keuchel has won three of his last four starts, including two in a row over the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals; each games where the Astros allowed zero runs.
Against the Royals, he went 8.0 innings, allowing seven hits while striking out seven, and threw for 9.0 innings allowing six hits and striking out 12 against the Yankees the game before.
“He gets after it every five days, and I think that he does that trying to be the best more than trying to accomplish anything outside of a win,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the Associated Press.
His opponent Carlos Carrasco has also already reached double-digit wins this season and has also won three of his last four outings. That run was highlighted by a dominant win over the Tampa Bay Rays, where he threw for 8.2 innings, missing a no-hitter performance late in the game while striking out 13 batters in an 8-1 victory.
“All I could do was laugh,” Carrasco admitted to the AP. “Everything was great. Everyone played good. I had my teammates, my defense. You know what? It’s most important that we won.”
Both pitchers have been as dominant as possible entering this game, but Cleveland has won 13 of the last 16 games in the series against the Astros. Even so, the best bet goes in the game total: taking the UNDER should pay out, knowing both starters will breeze through these weaker batting orders.
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison on Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)