The Phillies are almost at full strength offensively and face off against a former teammate at Citizens Bank Park this evening.

Houston Astros at Philadelphia Phillies

Houston salvaged the final game of a three-game series in Florida with a 2-1 victory at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday afternoon.  The Astros now move on to Philadelphia where they have a 12-7 all-time record at Citizens Bank Park and a 26-16 overall mark against the Phillies since the start of the 2004 season.  Tonight’s contest is the fourth game of 10-game road trip against the NL East, as the club is 9-14 versus the division this season.  The starting staff has carried the load recently, posting a 2.54 ERA in the last 13 games, with the team compiling a 7-6 record in that span.  Houston is 34-55 against right-handed starters this year (-1,000) and the total is 44-41 O/U in those contests.  It’s also important to note the team is 5-8 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 in 2010 and a dismal 22-36 in this situation the last three years (-580).

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The Astros are the best home underdog betting opportunity on Tuesday’s MLB card.

Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros

Chicago moved its record to 7-4 since the All-Star break after picking up a 5-2 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.  “With this offense we have and the pitching staff we have, we can do some damage,” last night’s starting pitcher Carlos Silva said.  Monday’s game was the first of a six-game, seven day road trip, as the club looks to win consecutive series against its own division for the first time since winning seven-straight series last season from July 24-September 13.  The Cubs are 4-6 against the Astros this season despite outscoring by four runs, 51-47, in those contests.  Chicago has dropped three games to Houston by a single run and another by two runs this season.  Against divisional opponents, the team is 19-28 (-2,050) and the total being 19-24 O/U in those meetings.

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The three-game series is up for grabs, as both teams look to dig themselves out of a large hole in the NL Central race.

Houston Astros at Chicago Cubs

Houston is set to play its final game of a six-game road trip against the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, with the team posting a 12-5 combined mark against those two opponents this season.  The Astros are 14-11 versus NL clubs since June 7, winning four of seven series over that span.  Unlike today’s opponent, Houston has had success against the division, tallying a 21-17 record (+1,060).  The club is 13-18 in day games this season (+10) and 60-63 over the last three years, with the team averaging 3.5 runs and combining for a dismal .229 average under the sun.  Houston has thrived in playing during the middle of the week, tallying an 11-3 mark when playing on Wednesday (+1,020).

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