MLB Betting: How The Loss of Javier and Urquidy Changes the Astros’ Season

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  • Javier and Urquidy will both have surgery on their right elbow
  • McCullers and Garcia won’t be back until after the All-Star break
  • The Astros are seven out of the AL West lead

The struggling Houston Astros received some brutal news this week. Starting pitchers Cristian Javier and José Urquidy will both miss the remainder of the surgery due to elbow injuries. Both will be undergoing surgery and could end needing Tommy John before they are able to return.

Below, we will share our US legal sports betting experts see the injuries affecting the already shorthanded Astros.

Houston Astros Future Odds

The loss of the two pitchers has already taken a toll on the Astro's future odds at betting sites. Below are the latest odds from Betway Sportsbook.

TeamWorld SeriesAL ChampionshipAL West
Houston Astros+1600+850+300

Be sure to check out our full Betway Sportsbooks review.

Astros Short on Pitching Depth

Houston has been struggling with their starting rotation this season, largely thanks to injuries. Lance McCullers and Luis Garcia are still recovering from injuries from last year and are not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Now, they’ll be down two more starters as they desperately try to save their season.

Justin Verlander (3.63 ERA), Ronel Blanco (2.44 ERA), and Framber Valdez (3.95 ERA) have been a solid trio, but Houston has struggled to find depth behind them. Hunter Brown (6.18 ERA) and JP France (7.46 ERA) have both regressed, and the latter is currently on the IL with a shoulder injury.  That has forced the team to rely on rookie Spencer Arrighetti (5.79 ERA), who hasn’t looked like he is ready for the big stage.

The good news is that McCullers and Garcia will both be at some point this season, which should fix their rotation. The bad news is they are already seven games out of the division lead, with a lowly .452 winning percentage.

While a trade could help bolster the rotation, it could cost the Astros a heavy price and may not be enough to fix this team.

Why We are Selling on Houston

While the Astros’ lineup has been one of the best in baseball, these injuries have us unwilling to bet on them to win anything. One big reason for that is Ronel Blanco. The 30-year-old had an incredible start to the season, posting a 1.65 ERA and a no-hitter in April. However, he began to regress in May, finishing with a 3.42 ERA.

While Blanco may not completely fall apart, Houston has relied on him to be an elite arm. With Valdez finishing with a 5.34 ERA across five starts in May and Verlander no longer the elite arm he once was, the Astros' top trio won’t be able to make up for a broken back end of their rotation.

We also consider that McCullers hasn’t played since the 2022 World Series, and Garcia made just six starts last year. Both will take time to return to form, assuming they do at all. Given how late they will be returning and how bad Houston’s record is, it’s hard to imagine them saving the team’s season.

Lastly, there is always the chance the Astros could end up as sellers at the trade deadline. They have holes in their lineup and a lot of aging stars, which could lead them to rebuild instead of parting with prospects to boost a bad team.