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The Daily Sweat: Astros are the hottest team in baseball, yet underdogs at Boston

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The Houston Astros had a tough start to the season. After a loss on May 1, they were 11-11.

The Astros have been baseball's hottest team since then.

An 8-0 win on Sunday gave the Astros 12 wins in their last 13 games. The Astros have been feasting on some poor teams, but any 12-1 stretch is pretty impressive.

Oddsmakers aren't quite as sold. The Astros are underdogs at the Boston Red Sox on Monday. They're +110 at BetMGM.

Often in baseball betting, a line will swing on a pitching matchup. Red Sox starter Garrett Whitlock has been good, with a 2.19 ERA, but it's not like he's Max Scherzer. The Astros have steady Jake Odorizzi on the mound. This line seems to be an indication that the Astros aren't yet getting a ton of respect in the betting market.

Pitching (and a schedule that included the Nationals, Twins, Tigers and Mariners) has been behind the Astros' resurgence. The Astros have allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of their last 13 games. That has allowed Houston to creep up to third in MLB in team ERA, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. The rotation is solid and the bullpen is deep.

The Astros are still not the most popular team due to that cheating scandal we'll remember forever, but they're also one of the most reliable franchises in the game. Houston looked like they might be in for an off year about a month into the season, but that turned around in a big way. And it looks like bettors can still find some value on the Astros, if you believe in their hot streak.

The Houston Astros and Jose Altuve have been on a hot streak. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
The Houston Astros and Jose Altuve have been on a hot streak. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:

After those Game 7s, what NBA and NHL do we have?

Nothing. Seriously, not one playoff game today.

Teams have to get some rest after all those long series across NBA and NHL. If there's one criticism it's that the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche could have started. Their matchup has been set since Thursday. But Monday allows teams — and bettors — an off day to reset for the next round.

What about the rest of MLB?

The good news is there are 13 games on the MLB slate. There's nothing in the afternoon but some good matchups across a busy Monday.

One highlight is the St. Louis Cardinals, off an impressive blowout win on Sunday night over the San Francisco Giants (they were up so much they let Albert Pujols pitch the ninth inning), traveling to the New York Mets. The Mets finally lost a series for the first time in 2022 this past weekend. The Mets are a slight -115 favorite.

Is there anything else to bet on?

There are always some off-the-path sports to bet on at BetMGM. Instituto Atletico Central Cardoba is a 4.5-point favorite over San Martin de Corrientes in Argentinian basketball, if that moves you.

Among the mainstream sports there isn't much. There's one English Premier League match in the afternoon. Arsenal is a -140 favorite over Newcastle. Otherwise, it's pretty thin.

What's the best bet?

You can't write all of that about the Astros above and then not take them as an underdog. It's rarely a bad idea to bet with a hot streak, so let's take Houston.