David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 2 mins

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‘Incredibly Rare’ Astros-Tigers Odds With Houston Up To -556

‘Incredibly Rare’ Astros-Tigers Odds With Houston Up To -556
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They’ve won three straight games, they have fewer home losses than any other team in Major League Baseball, and they’re in command in the American League West. And tonight, the Houston Astros are astronomical MLB betting odds favorites at Minute Maid Park over the worst team in baseball.

With ace Justin Verlander on the mound, the Astros were a massive -556 favorite as of Wednesday afternoon over the woebegone Detroit Tigers, according to the SugarHouse sportsbook. Other books had Houston favored by similar odds for Wednesday night's game, and the Astros are an overwhelming 90 percent MLB consensus bet to win.

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A line of that size “is incredibly rare,” said David Tuckman, analyst for the SugarHouse sportsbook. “And I doubt much money is going on Houston at this price.”

Justin Verlander Starting for Houston Astros

What’s behind odds that big? It begins with the starting pitchers, Tuckman added. Verlander enters with a 15-4 record and 2.81 earned run average, and having won five consecutive decisions. Detroit counters with Daniel Norris, 3-10 with a 4.82 ERA, and winner of just one of his last 10 decisions. The Tigers were also eliminated from the A.L. Central race in Monday’s 5-4 loss to Houston.

The Astros enter with the American League’s second-best record at 81-46, and a dominant 45-15 mark at home, where they’ve won eight straight. At 37-86, the Tigers have the worst record in Major League Baseball, and they’ve lost eight of their last nine games away from Comerica Park.

Baltimore Orioles Pulled Off Shocker

And yet, Houston has proven vulnerable as a heavy favorite before. On Aug. 11, one day after blasting the Orioles 23-2, the Astros were favored in Baltimore by odds of -450 and higher, with some sportsbooks offering Houston by as much as -550. The Orioles stunned the Astros that day with an 8-7 victory on Rio Ruiz’s two-run homer, in a game that Houston had led 7-5 entering the bottom of the ninth.

Verlander was also the starting pitcher in that game. He left with a no-decision in a game where, according to the Las Vegas Journal-Review, Houston was believed to be the largest road favorite in MLB history. But playing in Houston is another matter for the Astros, who haven’t lost in their own ballpark since July 23. Verlander also has a 2.59 ERA in 11 starts at home this season.