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Houston Astros Betting – Astros Should Just Skip To 2013

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 4/4/2012 4:16:59 PM

Houston’s online betting odds aren’t going to be a factor this season as this team is looking ahead to 2013, or even 2014. With an average age of 27.1, experts aren’t expecting much from the Astros this season and you shouldn’t either.

Lineup

The Astros weren’t actually a poor-hitting team as they were 10th in the major leagues in batting average, but they failed to generate any scoring, coming in 26th in runs and then they traded Hunter Pence to Philadelphia. First baseman Carlos Lee is back to anchor the lineup from the cleanup spot, but the onus is on the guys around him to get on base. Shortstop Jed Lowrie could start the season on the disabled list because of a thumb problem, which is one of those injuries that could linger. Center-fielder Jordan Schafer is getting a chance to lead off after some on and off-field issues, while third baseman Chris Johnson won back the spot he lost last season. However, the biggest improvements that need to be made in Houston may come in the field, where the Astros were the fourth-worst team in the majors in terms of fielding percentage last season. They’re not good enough to hand teams extra opportunities with errors and that is something that will have to be improved upon if the Astros are going to make strides going forward in 2012.

The spots on the bench will be rotating throughout the season, although catcher Chris Snyder should have a steady spot. The Astros are very young (only Kansas City is a younger team) and they’ll be trying to bleed in various players at points of the campaign.

Pitching

MLB betting players will see that the rotation is probably the best part of the squad, led by Opening Day starter Wandy Rodriguez, followed by Bud Norris, Livan Hernandez, J.A. Happ and Kyle Weiland, who came over from Boston along with Lowrie. The Astros also have Jordan Lyles coming along, as well as Paul Clemens, and you’ll probably see both of these guys in the big leagues at some point this season. The Astros were 22nd in the majors in quality starts and they don’t have a great bullpen, so the rotation will have to pick things up and take some of the pressure off the bullpen.

The bullpen will be powered by Brett Myers, who was in the rotation last season, but he has experience as a relief pitcher as he spent a season in the bullpen with Philadelphia in 2007. The rest of the unit is crowded, but Lucas Harrell and Brandon Lyon look to have the best chances of being setup men or long relievers. Wesley Wright is really the only southpaw in the bullpen, and the Astros would like to find another lefty to bring out in relief. 

Intangibles

Brad Mills heads into his third season as the manager of the Astros, and he is being tasked with leading a very young team that has no MLB betting prospects for this season. It’s all about the future in Houston after losing 106 games in 2011, and to be fair to Mills, he’s doing a decent job with what he has. We just don’t really know what he has yet, and neither does he.

As we mentioned before, the Astros are insanely young and the veterans like Lee are the ones who have to guide the team in a year where motivation can be hard to come by. Also, the age aspect likely ties into their poor fielding and that is something that the older players and the coaching staff should be paying attention to.

How It Will Play Out

Houston isn’t going to get much attention among MLB betting sharps as they’re listed at +7500 to win the National League Central, +10000 for the pennant and +20000 to win their first World Series title. The World Series shouldn’t even be an option for the Astros and quite frankly, the division and the pennant are well out of their reach. They would need a lot of things to happen to even snag a wild-card spot, or even to get to .500.

The Astros have an eye on the future and that is the theme of 2012. They’ll be looking to see who they want to stick around as they continue to rebuild. They’ll probably field offers for Lee as the trade deadline approaches, but he is really the only player that should get any attention from other teams. Don’t bother with Houston’s sports betting odds this season.


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