Astros (36-26) at Guardians (29-33) Game Preview | Friday 6/9 7:10 PM. EST.

June 9, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of 3 Against the Houston Astros

3 Things Preview Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians:

1 – Logan Allen 

Lefty Logan Allen is on the bump tonight for the Guardians.  The Guardians’ bullpen could use a rest, so hopefully Allen can give them another quality start tonight to limit the bullpen innings. 

2 – Josh Naylor and Will Brennan on fire 

Cleveland has been scoring more runs in the past three series and two of the hottest hitters in this stretch have been Josh Naylor who is 16 for 29 raising his batting average from .226 to .271 and Will Brennan who is 16 for 33 raising his batting average from .204 to .267. 

3 – Karinchak on the rebound 

Since his blown save in New York against the Mets on May 19th, James Karinchak, in nine appearances, has not given up a run lowering his ERA from 5.03 to 3.71.

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians’ offensive performance has been improving as of late, but still rank 29th in Major League Baseball with a team OPS of .651 and averaging only 3.62 runs per game. Their struggles are even more pronounced at home, where they hold a team slash line of .227/.296/.339 and manage to score a mere 2.9 runs over 29 games.

Among the Guards organization’s prospects, Logan Allen holds the eighth rank, but he has been facing challenges this season. His performance metrics place him in the 27th percentile in barrel percentage, 29th percentile in expected batting average (xBA), 35th percentile in expected slugging percentage (xSLG), and 45th percentile in expected earned run average (xERA). Allen possesses a repertoire of four different pitches: fastball, sweeper, changeup, and cutter. Unfortunately, his fastball has been particularly vulnerable, resulting in a .241 batting average against him and four home runs. It will be intriguing to observe his pitching performance in his inaugural encounter against the Astros.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Allen (3-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings pitched) gets the start for the Guardians, his ninth of the season.
  • The lefty last pitched on Saturday against the Minnesota Twins, when he threw six innings, allowing two earned runs while giving up seven hits.
  • The 24-year-old has an ERA of 2.76, with 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings in eight games this season.
  • His opponents have a .264 batting average against him.
  • Allen is seeking his fourth straight quality start.
  • Allen is looking for his fifth straight outing lasting five or more innings. He averages 5.7 frames per start.
  • He has had one appearance this season in which he did not give up an earned run.


  • The Guardians have hit 39 home runs this season, the lowest total in baseball.
  • So far this season, Cleveland’s .358 slugging percentage is the second-lowest percentage in the majors.
  • The Guardians have the 21st-ranked batting average in the league (.237).
  • The offense for Cleveland is No. 28 in MLB action scoring 3.7 runs per game (231 total runs).
  • The Guardians are 26th in the majors with a .303 on-base percentage.

Astros Notes

The Houston Astros have been underperforming as a team at the plate, ranking 20th in MLB with a .715 OPS and averaging 4.53 runs per game. However, their performance on the road has been slightly better, with a .726 OPS and an average of 4.63 runs scored in their 30 away games so far. One standout player is designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, who has been performing like a superstar. He boasts an impressive .274/.386/.582 slash line with 17 home runs, 55 RBI, and 41 runs scored.

Pitcher Cristian Javier has been delivering an excellent performance throughout the season, as evidenced by his Baseball Savant page. He ranks in the 82nd percentile in walk percentage, 81st percentile in chase rate, 76th percentile in whiff percentage, and 69th percentile in strikeout percentage. Javier utilizes a four-pitch arsenal consisting of a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. Among his pitches, the curveball has been particularly effective, with opposing hitters managing only a .125 batting average and a .250 slugging percentage against it.

Javier faced the Guardians twice last season, recording a perfect 2-0 record in 13.1 innings pitched. In those outings, he allowed six runs on 14 hits, including one hit by pitch, while issuing three walks and tallying seven strikeouts.

Astros Stats and Insights


  • The Astros are sending Javier (7-1) out for his 13th start of the season. He is 7-1 with a 2.84 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his most recent appearance on Saturday, the righty went six innings against the Los Angeles Angels, giving up one earned run while surrendering six hits.
  • The 26-year-old has amassed a 2.84 ERA and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings across 12 games this season while allowing a batting average of .209 to his opponents.
  • Javier has seven quality starts under his belt this season.
  • Javier is aiming for his 13th straight appearance lasting five or more innings. He averages 5.8 innings per appearance on the mound.
  • He has surrendered one or more earned runs in each of his appearances.
  • The opposing Guardians’ offense has the 29th-ranked slugging percentage (.358) and is last in MLB play with 39 home runs. It has a collective .237 batting average and is 23rd in MLB with 491 total hits and 28th in MLB action scoring 231 runs.
  • This season, the 26-year-old ranks 15th in ERA (2.84), ninth in WHIP (.990), and 28th in K/9 (9.3) among qualifying pitchers.


  • The Astros’ 70 home runs rank 14th in Major League Baseball.
  • Fueled by 175 extra-base hits, Houston ranks 17th in MLB with a .398 slugging percentage this season.
  • The Astros have a team batting average of .246 this season, which ranks 17th among MLB teams.
  • Houston has scored the 15th-most runs in the majors this season with 283 (4.5 per game).
  • The Astros have an on-base percentage of .315 this season, which ranks 20th in the league.
  • Houston ranks seventh in MLB in strikeouts per game with an average of eight whiffs per contest.

Final Thoughts/Pick

On paper, these teams are on two completely different levels throughout the season thus far as the Guardians are -29 right now while the Astros are +60 in runs scored versus runs given up. Looking at the offensive output as of late, there is a closer difference between the two clubs as Houston is averaging 4.86 runs in their previous 14 games while Cleveland is scoring four runs in their last 13 games played. Houston does extremely well on the road as they are 18-12 away from Minute Maid Park while Cleveland is just 13-16 inside of Progressive Field. The Houston Astros record overall is better, but the Guardians are playing better over the last 3 series matchups.

Our Pick: Take Astros Moneyline

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