The Guardians pitched well on Tuesday night, but the offense produced exactly zero hits in support of Gavin Williams as Framber Valdez completed a no-hitter. Will it be more of the same for Cleveland on Wednesday? Impressive rookie Tanner Bibee will be on the hill, but the Guardians need their bats to get going against Astros pitching. The Astros are set to be home favorites with Ronel Blanco on the mound.
Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s game and break down why the Astros are poised to keep rolling.
Guardians vs. Astros Prediction
The Guardians’ offense gets a well-deserved break after dealing with Valdez on Tuesday, but they still don’t match up well with the Astros here. Houston’s bullpen is fully rested, meaning Dusty Baker is free to use all of his safest arms, and the returns of Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve have filled out a talented lineup.
As great as Bibee has been, there are some red flags in this matchup. He’s allowed all but one of his home runs on the road, so a matchup with this experienced offense at Minute Maid Park is no sure thing.
The Guardians can’t hit this poorly forever, but this looked like a demoralized Cleveland team after the trades of Aaron Civale and Josh Bell. The reality for the franchise is that Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor are the only consistent sources of offense, and that simply hasn’t been enough against an Astros team that is arguably playing its best baseball of the season.
Whether it’s Astros moneyline or Astros -1.5, Houston remains a safe bet on Wednesday.
Guardians vs. Astros Prediction:
Guardians vs. Astros Odds
The Astros are set to enter as home favorites, even with spot starter Ronel Blanco on the mound.
Blanco has pitched well enough during his turns through the rotation that Houston can retain its status as the favorite, and the uncertainty surrounding him might add some more value to the line.
Guardians vs. Astros Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Guardians vs. Astros.
Astros’ Power vs. Tanner Bibee
Bibee has generally kept home runs to a minimum to this point in his rookie season, but allowed two blasts in his last start. He’ll have to be ultra careful against a power-laden Astros lineup.
Houston isn’t hitting the ball out of the park the way it used to, but the returns of Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve plus recent success by Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick have really rounded out the lineup. The Guardians found out the hard way on Monday when a great start by Noah Syndergaard was wasted when the bullpen came in.
Bibee, who has a stellar 3.11 ERA plus a 1.19 WHIP through 16 starts, has allowed eight home runs on the road and just one at home. A matchup against this Astros offense in a tough environment could be one of the toughest challenges of his young career.
Guardians Lineup vs. Astros Bullpen
The Astros made a trade for Kendall Graveman out of necessity, not convenience. Not only is Houston’s bullpen slightly below the league average in ERA after such a strong 2022, but the unit posted a 4.72 ERA in July and needs to be better to avoid missing out on an AL West title. In fact, only two bullpens had a higher FIP in July.
The Astros will need some innings from their ‘pen on Wednesday with Ronel Blanco starting. Can the Guardians take advantage? Cleveland continues to be a high-contact, low-power team that relies heavily on the bats of Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor.
The key for the Astros might be rest. Because of Valdez’s no-hitter, key arms Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu, Hector Neris, and Graveman are all well-rested. The Astros can avoid their trouble spots and roll with a group they can be confident in, giving them a big advantage.
Guardians vs. Astros Starting Lineups
Guardians Starting Lineup
CF Steven Kwan L
2B Andres Gimenez L
3B Jose Ramirez S
1B Josh Naylor L
DH Josh Bell S
CF Will Brennan L
RF Oscar Gonzalez R
C Bo Naylor L
SS Gabriel Arias R
Astros Starting Lineup
2B Jose Altuve R
SS Jeremy Pena R
RF Kyle Tucker L
3B Alex Bregman R
DH Yordan Alvarez L
1B Jose Abreu R
LF Chas McCormick R
CF Jake Meyers R
C Martin Maldonado R