Astros vs. Rangers Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Houston?

Astros vs. Rangers Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Houston? article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez (59).

  • The Houston Astros will be without the services of Jose Altuve when the team faces the Texas Rangers on Monday evening.
  • Luckily, however, Houston seems to have found its answer: Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena.
  • Will Pena, Framber Valdez & co. be enough to deliver a win for Houston, or will Texas finally rise to the challenge this season? Check out our full MLB betting preview below.

Astros vs. Rangers Odds

Astros Odds-145
Rangers Odds+120
Over/Under8 (-120 / +100)
Time8:05 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Houston Astros are off to an incredible start to the season.

Ace pitcher Justin Verlander has returned to peak form after recovering from injury. But moreover, rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña has been a revelation, aptly replacing former Astros star Carlos Correa. Peña hit a walk-off home run to beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday and is now hitting .260 with three home runs on the season.

The Astros have already navigated several early-season injuries en route to a 7-8 overall record heading into Monday's matchup against the Rangers. Despite the team's splashy offseason, Texas has fared even more poorly than Houston, sporting an underwhelming 5-10 record.

Which team will get it done in this American League West division matchup?

Houston Astros

The Astros' injury list includes one of the team's main contributors: José Altuve (hamstring).

Luckily for Houston, Jeremy Peña has been the team's solution since moving into the leadoff spot in Altuve's stead. Houston is still one man down, but moving Peña up top enables the rest of the batting order to remain the same.

On the mound for the Astros is Framber Valdez, who has a 4.50 ERA in three starts this season. This could be a good matchup for Valdez to get on track, because the Rangers will likely field a predominately left-handed lineup.

That would play to Valdez' advantage: He achieved a 27% strikeout percentage against left-handed hitters last year compared to 20% against right-handed batters.

Texas Rangers

Dane Dunning is a promising young pitcher for the Texas Rangers.

The 27-year-old generated a 54% ground ball percentage, 22% strikeout percentage, and 8% walk percentage last year. There's probably something to work with here, but he's by no means a finished product.

Dunning achieved a 4.51 ERA and 1.44 WHIP last year, and through three starts this season, he sports a 5.68 ERA and 1.89 WHIP. Alarmingly, Dunning also hasn't completed five innings since his first start.

This could be a difficult matchup for Dunning against a disciplined Astros lineup — even despite Altuve's absence.

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Astros vs. Rangers Pick

While the Rangers made improvements to their lineup over the offseason, I still think Valdez has the upper hand on the mound against them.

Conversely, Dunning may be in over his head against an Astros lineup that still includes Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

The -135 moneyline (DraftKings) for the Astros is too short. I would take it up to -150.

Pick: Astros -135

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