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NBC Sports Predictor

Astros and Guardians Collide Sunday on Peacock: Play Predictor

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: August 4, 2022, 12:23 pm ET

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Sunday's MLB game on Peacock features two contenders in the American League. The Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians play the final game of their weekend series at Progressive Field.

The Astros have won just four of their last ten games but continue to own a double-digit lead in the American League's West Division. The Guardians are right in the thick of what is a 3-team race in the American League's Central Division. Minnesota, Cleveland, and Chicago are separated by just two games with the Guardians and White Sox also just barely outside of the Wild Card picture.

The prevailing thought was that Houston's offense would shoulder the load this season and they have been solid, but unspectacular. The Astros rank 16th in baseball with 848 hits (8 hits/game). It has been the pitching of the Houston Astros that has surprised many and catapulted the team into the conversation of World Series contenders. Astros' hurlers are stingy having surrendered the fewest hits in baseball – just 723 in 106 games (6.8 hits/game).

 

 

Terry Francona and the Guardians continue to get the most out of their roster. Jose Ramirez leads an offense that ranks 7th in baseball with 894 hits in 104 games (8.6 hits/game). Cleveland hurlers have been solid ranking right in the middle of baseball ranking 17th. They have given up 837 hits in 104 games (8.01 hits/game).

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To help you out, here are some statistics and suggested picks for two of the questions from this week's game.

 

Question #3: How many singles and doubles will the Houston Astros muster against the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday?

Singles:              0-2, 3, 4, 5, 6+

Doubles:           0, 1, 2, 3, 4+

As alluded to earlier, Houston's offense has not been at the foundation of its successes to this point this season. Since the All-Star Break, however, they are showing signs of life at the plate. Their average is a somewhat pedestrian .250, but a sizable improvement from its 1st half results when Jose Altuve and co. hit just .239.

Yuli Gurriel leads the team since the Break with six doubles among his 14 hits and Alex Bregman's bat has awakened. The product of LSU has five doubles and has hit .300 in 13GP since the All-Star Game. The lightning rod of this team has and will continue to be Jose Altuve. No surprise then that the veteran second baseman has 18 hits (4 doubles and 12 singles) in his last 15 games.

Aledmys Diaz has been the surprise of the second half. The versatile infielder has 15 hits (8 singles and 4 doubles) in his last 12 games.

Cleveland is expected to send Triston McKenzie (7-8, 3.38 ERA) to the hill. The right-hander has yielded 88 hits in 120 innings pitched. More pertinent are his numbers since the Break and those are more ominous for the Guardians. McKenzie is 0-2 with a 4.34 ERA in his last two starts. In those starts, he has given up 16 hits in 18.2 innings. The top arm in the Cleveland bullpen is Emmanuel Clase. The Guardians' closer since the Break has given up a single hit in six innings (24 hits in 44.1 innings this season). 

Suggested Answer: Houston's offense is starting to heat up. Trey Mancini will certainly add punch to a lineup that looks entirely different with more than just Yordan Alvarez raking since the Break. Expect the Astros to maintain their post-All-Star success at the plate and collect three doubles and six (6+) singles Sunday.

 

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Question #4: How many singles and doubles will the Cleveland Guardians muster against the Houston Astros on Sunday?

Singles: 0-2, 3, 4, 5-6, 7+

Doubles: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4+

As productive as the Astros' offense has been since the All-Star Break, the offense of the Guardians has been that much better. Cleveland leads baseball since the All-Star Break with 136 hits in 14 games (9.7 hits per game). Among the 136 hits are 92 singles and 29 doubles.

Steven Kwan is hitting .375 since the Break with 24 hits (19 singles, 4 doubles). Amed Rosario has 19 hits (including 3 doubles and 13 singles) in 14 games since the Break. Shortstop Andres Gimenez leads Cleveland with five doubles since the All-Star Break.

The Houston pitching staff as a whole is the stingiest in baseball having allowed a mere 723 hits in 106 games (6.82 hits per game). Cristian Javier (6-7 3.24 ERA) is on the bump for the Astros Sunday. On the season, Javier has surrendered 63 hits in 94.1 innings.

With the exception of Justin Verlander, the Astros' hurlers have cooled somewhat since the Break. Cristian Javier has been solid but is not Justin Verlander. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA and has given up 11 hits in 16 innings since the Break.

Ryan Pressley has been shaky at times this season for Houston. The Astros' closer has yielded 22 hits in 32 innings overall and four in four innings since the Break. Hector Neris has been equally generous to opposing hitters of late having served up five hits in five innings.

Suggested Answer: You are not wrong to expect offense in this game. The Astros' pitchers have been stingy, but the Cleveland hitters know how to grind out at-bats. Do not expect the same level of success they have enjoyed in their last 14 games. That said, 6 singles and 2 doubles acknowledge the Guardians' track record at the dish as well as the Houston hurlers' overall dominance this season.

 

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