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The game of the night in Major League Baseball on Tuesday is set to take place deep in the heart of Texas. There, the Houston Astros will host the Chicago Cubs for the second game of their series this week, after the Astros won the opener on Monday by a score of 6-4. In this contest, the Cubs will rely on their top pitcher early in the season to try and even this series and keep his unbeaten record early in 2023 going.
The Chicago Cubs come into Tuesday night at 19-22 on the season, as their strong start to the 2023 MLB season has fizzled out somewhat. On Monday, they dropped their series opener against the Astros, giving up the final two runs of the game after tying things at 4-4. On Tuesday, the Cubs will hope that their top pitcher so far this season can continue to pitch at a high level to even this series at a game apiece.
That pitcher for the Cubs is Justin Steele, who enters this matchup with a 6-0 record and a 1.82 ERA. Steele has been something of a good luck charm for the Cubs this season, with Chicago going 6-2 in the games he has started, with Steele accounting for just under one-third of the team’s wins on the year. But against the defending champions in Houston, Steele will have to bring his best stuff to remain unbeaten on the year.
Chicago will also need to bring more of an offensive punch to this game if they are going to even this series with the ‘stros. In their last three games, the Cubs have been outscored by a combined 33-8, losing all three of those matchups. Chicago needs to be better at the plate if they are going to win, even if Steele ends up having another great performance on the mound for them.
The Houston Astros enter Tuesday’s game against the Cubs at 22-19 on the year, sitting three games behind the first place Texas Rangers in the AL West standings. Houston has won two games in a row and four of their last five, as they look to round into form just in time to get impact players like Jose Altuve back from the IL. In this contest, they look to one of their more reliable starters to perform against Justin Steele of the Cubs.
Cristian Javier has been rock solid this season, going 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 46.2 innings of work. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in five straight starts, and has struck out six or more batters in four consecutive outings. To help his team keep up with the pitching performance that Steele is capable of in this game, Javier will have to have another excellent outing for the Astros.
As a whole, Houston’s pitching staff has been great lately, allowing under five runs to their opponents in five straight games. That speaks to the quality of their bullpen as well as their starting pitching. It has also helped keep the pressure off of bats like Yordan Alvarez, as this team waits to get healthy and become a real threat once their lineup is in tact once again.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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