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Astros vs. Guardians: Picks, predictions, how to watch Thursday’s game

We go over how to watch Thursday’s game between the Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians and make some picks.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians square off on Thursday with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio and will only be available on local TV or through an subscription. Justin Verlander (14-3, 1.81 ERA) will throw for the Astros with Zach Plesac (2-9, 4.33 ERA) on the mound for the Guardians.

Houston (68-38) lost two of three games in its home series with the Boston Red Sox this week as it gets ready for this four-game set. Verlander is the current betting favorite for the American League Cy Young on DraftKings Sportsbook and allowed fewer than two earned runs in six consecutive games. The Astros rank No. 5 in OPS (.740), and Yordan Alvarez leads the team with 30 home runs and 72 RBI.

Cleveland (54-50) won three of its last four games heading into Thursday night’s matchup. Plesac will make his 20th start of the season and gave up five runs over five innings in his most recent outing against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Guardians rank seventh in batting average (.252), and Jose Ramirez has the third most RBI with 86 this season.

Astros vs. Guardians

Pitchers: Justin Verlander vs. Zach Plesac
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Astros local broadcast: AT&T SportsNet-Southwest
Guardians local broadcast: Bally Sports Great Lakes
Live stream: (subscription)

Odds, picks & predictions

Run Line: Astros -1.5 (-115)
Run total: 8
Moneyline odds: Astros -180, Guardians +155

Moneyline pick: Astros -180

Verlander has been about as dominant as it gets over his last six starts, all of which were victories for the Astros. He continues to throw at an extremely high level at age 39, and Houston has the advantage in power hitting in Thursday night’s matchup.

Player prop pick: Justin Verlander Under 5.5 strikeouts (-125)

While he is putting together an incredible comeback story after missing nearly all of the 2020 season and the entire 2021 season, Verlander’s strikeout numbers have dipped a bit compared to his most recent campaigns. He has an 8.9 K/9 and will face a Guardians offense that strikes out just seven times per game, which is the fewest in the MLB.

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