Sunday’s MLB Best Bet: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

Sep 4, 2016

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Houston right-hander Collin McHugh toes the rubber with a 4.80 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 2016, together with a 5.78 ERA and 1.61 WHIP on the road, a 4.08 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in day starts and a 5.79 ERA and 1.64 WHIP over his last three outings.  McHugh has also struggled against the Rangers, allowing a combined 13 earned runs on 23 hits (16/5 K/BB) in 12 1/3 innings.

The 29-year-old hurler has also posted concerning peripherals in the second half of the MLB season, including a 4.56 FIP in his last 46.0 innings pitched and, more specifically, a 5.25 FIP in the month of August (32.1 IP, 5.01 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 2.51 HR/9).  McHugh now faces a surging Texas offense that is averaging 6.9 runs over its last seven MLB games (.297 AVG., .363 OBP, .868 OPS).

Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus has hit .400 in 16 career at-bats against McHugh, which is the second-highest average of any MLB player with at least 16 at-bats against him.  From a technical standpoint, Texas is a profitable 45-18 in its last 63 home games, 38-14 in its last 52 home games versus teams with a winning record, 36-16 in its last 52 division contests, 19-7 in its last 26 games following a win and 21-8 in its last 29 games versus right-handed starters.

Texas has also dominated this series, posting a 70-26 record in its last 96 meetings with the Astros (33-19 L/52; 12-2 this year), including 40-12 at home (20-7 L/27; 7-1 this year).  Texas right-hander Yu Darvish is 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.07 WHIP at home and owns a 3.08 ERA in eleven career starts against the Astros.

The 30-year-old also boasts a 3.20 FIP and 3.45 xFIP at home with a 28.1% K% (10.29 K/9) and a 22.2% K-BB%.  Darvish has compiled 102 strikeouts in 73 innings against Houston, the most strikeouts and innings pitched against any team in his career. 

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve is hitting just .200 in 25 career at-bats against Darvish, and he might sit out Sunday after feeling discomfort in his right calf on the final play of yesterday’s game. Darvish has also thrown eight consecutive quality starts.

The Rangers are also 6-0 in Darvish’s last six home starts versus teams with a winning record.  Lay the price with Texas  as Oskeim Sports’ free MLB Best Bet for Sunday and invest with confidence.