Wandy Rodriguez continues to pitch well at home while Mike Leake is having an excellent rookie year and has already shut down the terrible Houston lineup twice. Go ‘under’

Wandy Rodriguez of the Houston Astros continues to have some of the most severe home/away splits you will ever see, while Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds is having an excellent rookie season, so do not look for much scoring at Minute Maid Park this afternoon.

Lance BerkmanThe bookmakers have installed a total of 8½ for this contest with the betting odds on the ‘under’ set at a flat -110.

The difference in the career numbers for Rodriguez at home and on the road are mindboggling and the sample size suggests that the difference cannot merely be discounted as variance. He is 35-26 at home with an excellent 3.66 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 80 starts, as opposed to 23-37 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 74 starts on the road! What makes those numbers more remarkable is that Minute Maid is more of a hitters’ park.

Wandy has continued his normal pattern this year, as he is a dismal 3-6 with a 5.97 ERA and 1.62 WHIP on the road, but he has three straight Quality Starts here at home while allowing only four earned runs and 12 hits in 19 innings with 19 strikeouts against only five walks. Yes, his only start vs. Cincinnati this year was a bad one, but it came on the road and thus could be easily discounted.

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The young Leake has been a godsend to the Cincinnati staff, and he is a key reason why the Reds are currently in first place in the NL Central. Leake has gone 7-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 18 starts, showing poise that is not expected for someone his age, and he has been brilliant in two starts vs. the Astros, allowing a grand total of one run in 13 innings. Then aging, that is not surprising considering Houston is dead last in the National League in batting at .238.

Look for Leake to continue to control the weak Houston lineup today and for Rodriguez to continue to pitch well at home, resulting in a low scoring affair.
 
Free Play: Reds, Astros Under 8½ (-110)