Houston Astros vs. San Diego Padres Matchup Preview (9/3/21): Betting Odds, Starting Lineups, Daily Fantasy Picks

It’s Jake Arrieta day.

The former Cy Young Winner is now the epitome of washed-up. My colleagues and I now refer to him as “The Corpse of Jake Arrieta”, or just “The Corpse” for short.

Today, he makes his second start with the Padres, at home against the best offense in baseball in the Houston Astros. I guarantee things are not going to go well.

However, does that mean that the Astros are an auto-bet? I’m not so sure, but I know there is value to be found in this game. So, let’s dig in and find our best bets for today’s game.

Houston Astros Starting Lineup

  1. 2B Jose Altuve R
  2. RF M. Brantley L
  3. SS C. Correa R
  4. LF Y. Alvarez L
  5. 1B Yuli Gurriel R
  6. 3B Alex Bregman R
  7. CF Kyle Tucker L
  8. C M. Maldonado R
  9. P Jose Urquidy R

Houston Astros Analysis

It’s simple: There isn’t a lineup better in baseball than the Astros. They’ve held the league’s top offense via OPS (.776), wOBA (.334), and wRC+ (117) all season long, and they’ve been consistent with those numbers over the past month.

The Astros offensive approach comes down to discipline. Not only do they strike out at the lowest rate in MLB (19.6%), but they also walk at the 10th highest rate (9.1%). The Astros also have the highest zone contact rate (85.2%) and chase contact rate (62.1%) of any team. Predictably, Houston has the lowest Whiff rate (21.1%) as well.

The offense doesn’t need any more praise, but the rotation should get a little more credit. It’s not a list of big names, but Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr. and Framber Valdez have all pitched a lot of quality innings this season.

However, the biggest reason for the rotation’s success has been Luis Garcia. In his first full season in a starting role, Garcia has posted a 3.11 ERA since May 15, and the Astros have won 14 of those 18 starts.

Today’s starter, Jose Urquidy, has also been a massive part of this unit’s success. He’s started just 14 games this season, but has posted a 3.38 ERA and a crazy low .96 WHIP.

For Urquidy, everything stems from his control. He walks just 1.51 batters per nine innings, and he hasn’t walked more than one batter in his past 10 starts. He doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, and has just an 11% swinging strike rate, but his pitch-to-contact strategy is working.

San Diego Padres Starting Lineup

  1. CF T. Grisham L
  2. SS J. Cronenworth L
  3. 3B M. Machado R
  4. RF F. Tatis R
  5. 1B Eric Hosmer L
  6. LF Wil Myers R
  7. C Austin Nola R
  8. 2B J. Profar S
  9. P Jake Arrieta

San Diego Padres Analysis

The Padres are having all sorts of issues.

The problem with San Diego isn’t their surface level talent, where they have guys like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Yu Darvish, and others. It’s their depth, wherein they’ve found themselves turning to Jake Arrieta to start a baseball game.

Arrieta ranks in the bottom 10 percent of qualified pitchers in the following stats:

  • Average Exit Velocity (90.6 mph)
  • Hard-hit Percentage (44.1%)
  • xERA (6.10)
  • xBA (.282)
  • xSLG (.495)
  • xwOBA (.369)
  • Strikeout Percentage (18.1%)
  • Whiff Rate
  • Chase Rate

Arrieta is simply not capable of starting a game in this league. But if they keep throwing them out there, then we must capitalize on it. When Jake Arrieta starts this season, his teams are 4-16-1 on the first five innings ML, wherein an $100 bettor would be down $1,267 betting him in those games.

Daily Fantasy Analysis

If you’re going to target someone in this matchup, I would go with someone in the Astros lineup. They’re going to have a great chance to knock around an awful Arrieta.

The Problem is this lineup hasn’t faced Arrieta a lot. So, there’s nobody that’s had a track record of success against Arrieta.

Instead, I’ll try and throw out a few Houston names that have been hitting well lately:

  • Carlos Correa has a .915 OPS and a .397 wOBA over the past two weeks
  • Yordan Alvarez has a .930 OPS and a .389 wOBA over the past month
  • Kyle Tucker is hitting .309 with an .880 OPS over the past month

I’d give a look to these guys and see who the best value buy might be.

Houston Astros vs. San Diego Padres Betting Odds

We’re not just auto-betting Houston in this game, we’re going to absolutely hammer them. There are so many ways we could fade Jake Arrieta in this game, but I’ve identified my four favorite ways:

  • Astros First Five Innings ML (-180)
  • Astros First Five Innings -0.5 (-110)
  • Astros First Five Innings Team Total Over 2.5 (-105)
  • Astros/Padres First Five Innings Over 4.5 (-125)

When Arrieta takes the mound, it’s generally fireworks. I’ve been waiting for another blowup performance from “The Corpse” and am planning on profiting accordingly.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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