As the dog days of summer persist and baseball's pennant races heat up, MLB handicapper Dalton Brown is back with a best bet for Wednesday's full slate.
6:40 p.m. ET: Houston Astros at Miami Marlins: Astros moneyline (-125) at DraftKings
The Houston Astros and Miami Marlins will finish out their three-game interleague series on Wednesday at LoanDepot Park, and I am backing Houston to finish strong on the road. In recent week's MLB's contenders and pretenders have begun to separate - and the Marlins' 27-35 record against teams with winning records figures only to get uglier down the stretch.
Wednesday, Miami will have to deal with Justin Verlander. Verlander boasts an impressive 3.32 xERA this season, and looks even more comfortable to be back in an Astros uniform and back in a pennant race. The righty posted a 1.69 ERA in his final month before being traded, and hasn't surrendered more than three runs in a start since June 20. The Marlins lineup he'll contend with on Wednesday has struggled against righties anyway, producing a wRC+ of 88 (26th-best in MLB) since July 1.
The Marlins will counter with young lefty Jesus Luzardo, a pitcher whose numbers for the season are solid but don't reflect his recent run of poor outings. Luzardo has surrendered four or more runs in three straight, including a seven-run drubbing at the hands of the Yankees in his last outing. With Houston's 140 wRC+ (second-best in MLB) against lefties since July 1 rolling into town, he could be in for another bruising in this one.
The Astros are the team worthy of your trust down the stretch out of these two, and an offense that has mostly been tearing through pitching staffs since returning to almost full health. In a pitching matchup like this, Houston should be bigger favorites than they are - so let's take advantage.