Astros (37-27) at Guardians (30-34) Game Preview | Sunday 6/11 12:40 PM. EST.

June 11, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Houston Astros

3 Things Preview Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians:

1 – Quality start

In the past six games, the Guardians have not had a quality start exhausting the bullpen.  Shane Bieber looks to put that streak to an end today.  

2 – Offensive and Pitching stats 

Cleveland’s offense has been a frequent discussion, but all hope is not lost as there are some signs of a turnaround.  The Guardians are 4th in triples and 10th doubles overall.  Cleveland also is 2nd in baseball in not striking out.  

On the pitching front, Cleveland is now 8th in ERA and even with the current drought, the Guardians are 9th in quality starts. Finally, Emmanuel Clase is first in saves at 20 and the Guardians overall are tied for first in saves with 23. 

3 – Packing Progressive 

The Guardians are having a wonderful late spring with crowds and last night’s game against the Astros brought 35,087 to the gate, the largest crowd of the season.   A reminder, that today’s game is a 12:40p start, a move up because of the threat of rain.

Guardians Notes

Cleveland’s starting pitcher for the upcoming game will be right-hander Shane Bieber, who holds a record of 4-3 with a 3.57 ERA. In his previous outing against the Boston Red Sox last Tuesday, Bieber allowed just one run across 5 2/3 innings but didn’t factor into the decision.

Despite improving from his previous start, where he surrendered seven runs in four innings against the Baltimore Orioles, the 28-year-old Bieber wasn’t entirely satisfied with his performance. Reflecting on the game, he remarked, “I suppose I rebounded decently. However, I could have and should have done better, preventing the game from becoming as tight in the later innings. Nevertheless, it is what it is.”

Bieber has faced Houston twice in his career, earning a record of 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA. White Sox hitter Abreu has had some success against Bieber, going 13-for-45 (.289) with three home runs.

Despite their three-game winning streak coming to an end on Saturday, the Guardians received another impressive performance from first baseman Josh Naylor. Naylor extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games with two hits and three RBIs in the game, bringing his total RBIs to 29 in his last 23 games.

During Saturday’s game, Houston successfully executed six stolen bases against Cleveland catcher Mike Zunino. However, Guardians manager Terry Francona attributed part of the blame to the pitchers, stating, “They were getting sizeable leads. Zunino was attempting to hurry and was overly rushed.”

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Bieber’s team is 6-7-0 against the spread in his starts this season.
  • The right-hander last pitched on Tuesday, when he gave up one earned run and allowed five hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox.
  • In 13 starts, Bieber has pitched through or past the fifth inning 11 times. He has a season average of 6.2 frames per outing.
  • He has two appearances with no earned runs allowed in 13 chances this season.
  • Bieber’s team is 5-5 this season when he starts and they are the money line favorite.
  • Bieber’s team is 5-8 when he starts this season.
  • Games Bieber has started this season hit over five times in 13 chances.


  • The Guardians have a 7-2 record this season in games when they hit at least two homers.
  • Cleveland has gone 6-4 in its 10 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The team has collected eight or more hits in 36 games this season and is 18-18 in those contests.
  • Cleveland is 14-5 in games this season when it scored five or more runs.
  • The Guardians are 10-9 over the 19 games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Astros Notes

In the absence of Yordan Alvarez, the Houston Astros are seeking other players to step up, and first baseman Jose Abreu has answered the call impressively. As the Astros prepare for the final game of their three-game series against the Cleveland Guardians, Abreu’s performance has been heating up at just the right time.

Abreu had only hit one home run this season before his remarkable three-run shot in Friday’s series opener, a game in which the Astros eventually lost 10-9 in a 14-inning battle. He continued his impressive display by hitting a two-run blast and an RBI single in Saturday’s 6-4 victory.

Before the weekend, Abreu’s batting average stood at .213 with just one home run and 23 RBIs. However, the Astros are hopeful that his recent performances indicate a turning point for him.

When asked about his improvement, Abreu stated, “I can’t say for certain if I feel completely better at the plate compared to before, but I definitely felt much improved on Friday. I’m determined to give my all and fight in every single game.”

Houston, who ended a four-game losing streak on Saturday, will entrust right-hander Brandon Bielak (3-2, 3.35 ERA) with the task of pitching in the series finale. Bielak secured his second consecutive win in his last start on Monday, allowing three runs on 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings in an 11-4 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Following injuries to Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy, Bielak, 27, has emerged as a reliable starter for the Astros. He has delivered consistent performances, giving up three runs or fewer in six of his first seven games this season.

Bielak expressed his satisfaction, saying, “Since joining the Astros, my primary goal has been to establish myself in the rotation. I’m still taking it one step at a time and giving my best to make the most of this opportunity.”

Astros Stats and Insights


  • Bielak (3-2 with a 3.35 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings pitched) makes the start for the Astros, his seventh of the season.
  • The righty’s most recent appearance was on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays, when he threw 6 2/3 innings, surrendering three earned runs while allowing 10 hits.
  • Bielak will try to extend a six-game streak lasting five or more innings (he’s averaging 5.3 innings per appearance).
  • So far during the 2023 campaign he has allowed at least one earned run in all of his appearances.
  • The Astros have been the underdog on the money line in three of Bielak’s starts this season, and they went 1-2 in those games.
  • Bielak’s team has won three of his six starts.
  • Bielak has had six starts with a total this season, and the teams combined to go over the total in one of those matchups.


  • They are 12-5 this season when they hit two or more home runs in a game.
  • Houston has won 10 of its 13 games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • They have won 37 of the 47 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • In 40 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 35-5.
  • They have a 15-4 record this season when drawing five or more walks in a game.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Sunday’s series finale has been moved up to 12:40 a.m. local time due to expected rain later in the day. The contest will mark the end of Houston’s stretch of 17 games in 17 consecutive days.

Our Pick: Take Guardians and Money Line

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