Astros vs Rangers Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Wednesday, September 6
Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Verlander (Astros)
Astros vs. Rangers Odds
In perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the regular season thus far, Justin Verlander and the Astros will take on Max Scherzer and the Rangers in a crucial series finale.
The Astros dominated the opening two matchups by a combined run differential of 27-7. Their offense will face a much tougher task Wednesday versus Scherzer, who's pitched to a 2.21 ERA in 36 2/3 innings since arriving in Texas.
Houston's electric offensive play has continued to start the series, as it posted 14 runs on Tuesday led by Jose Altuve's four home-run performance. Following last night's result, oddsmakers are respecting the recent play by having the Astros priced as the outright favorite to win the AL at +275.
The Astros lead the league with a wRC+ of 144 over the last 30 days. Their 0.57 BB/K is the top mark in baseball by some margin, as is their strikeout % of just 16.7.
Verlander has pitched to a 3.86 ERA in 35 innings with Houston this year and owns a 1.29 WHIP. He owns an average per game xFIP of 4.61 with the Astros and a 3.73 xERA on the season.
Compared to what we saw a year ago, Verlander's stuff has taken a significant step backwards at age 40. He's pitched to a Stuff+ of 106 this season, compared to a mark of 122 in 2022. His Location+ mark sits at 106 this season.
The Rangers have a horrific record since Max Scherzer's arrival, but his play has been far from a disappointment.
Scherzer has pitched to a 2.21 ERA in 36 2/3 innings with Texas and has allowed a WHIP of just 0.95. His K-rates have spiked to 11.5/9 and his xERA has trended down to 3.17.
On the season, Scherzer owns a Stuff+ mark of 102 with a Location+ mark of 104.
Shaky play from the bullpen and a drop-off in form offensively has led to Texas' lowly record of late. The pressure to turn things around for such a talented side that once seemed like a lock for the playoffs — and is now boasting just a 55.8% chance — is significant.
Over the last 30 days, Texas has hit to a 16th-ranked wRC+ of 97. It has struck out 23.8% of the time, but have still hard-hit 36.5% of balls in play.
The loss of Josh Jung (.812 OPS, .323 OBP) hurts, but this lineup should still trend back to being a top-third offense the rest of the way.
Astros vs. Rangers
Betting Pick & Prediction
Houston has been the best offense in baseball over the last month and has been locked in to start this important series thus far.
Texas continues to scuffle and slide down the standings and is on the cusp of a nightmare playoff miss. While Scherzer has the edge over Verlander at this point in their respective careers, this seems to be a spot that could go either way.
Maybe Scherzer dominates and the Rangers come up with a huge win here. It seems just as possible, though, that the Astros' offense comes through — as this core has often done in big moments.
With the Astros now priced as high as +120 to win the game, they seem to be the more valuable side in a matchup every baseball fan should tune in for.