Game: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros
Time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Odds: Rangers +175, Astros -210
Houston begins a weekend series with in-state rival Texas. The Astros have been enjoying a solid month despite losing their previous series to Boston. Houston has won 13 of its last 16 games and has already taken three of four games from the Rangers once this season already. Tonight, they will put left-hander Framber Valdez on the mound. He has been pitching extremely well for the Astros this season.
Valdez is 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA. He has gone at least six innings in each of his last four starts. The Astros have won his last two starts. In 13.2 innings, Valdez allowed three earned runs and struck out 13 in wins over Detroit and Washington. He has one previous start against the Rangers this season. Valdez went six innings and allowed four hits and no earned runs, but Houston ended up losing. Valdez would love to make up for that one.
The Houston pitcher should get plenty of run support. The Astros are averaging 6.3 runs per game over their last ten games. Over that span, Houston has three five-run games, two six-run games, an 8-0 win over Washington, an 11-3 win over Minnesota, and a 13-4 pounding of Boston just two days ago.
AL MVP candidate Yordan Alvarez has been consistent all season. He’s hitting .252 with 12 homers and 22 RBIs. Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley are starting to heat up and Jose Altuve has eight homers so far. The bottom line is that Houston can score and that is not good news for Texas pitcher Glenn Otto.
Otto is just 1-1 in four starts this season. He sports a rather high 6.38 ERA and is coming off a disastrous start against Boston last weekend. Otto lasted just four innings and allowed eight earned runs. He has lost each of his last three starts against Houston. In 12.2 innings in those three starts, Otto has allowed the Astros nine earned runs. One of those starts was in April. Otto wasn’t involved in the decision, but Texas lost 4-3.
The Astros return home to Minute Maid Park where they have enjoyed success this season. They have won their last eight games in a row at home and the Astros are 10-0 SU in the last ten games against the Rangers at home. The Rangers have had some recent success winning four of their last five games, but they have only won once in the last six games with Houston.
Despite all the recent offense, Houston has been trending Under. The total has gone Under in 12 of the last 18 Astros games. On the other side, Texas has seen the total go Over in four of the Rangers’ last five games. In the series between the two in-state rivals, the Under is 4-1 in the last five games.
The Rangers have some quality hitters in Corey Seager and Kole Calhoun. Marcus Semien, who hit 45 homers last year in Toronto, has not found his groove in Texas. Semien is batting .173 and has yet to hit a home run.