Astros vs Rangers Prediction | MLB Betting Odds & Pick

Astros vs Rangers Prediction | MLB Betting Odds & Pick article feature image

Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Adolis Garcia.

Astros vs Rangers Odds

Friday, April 5
8:05 p.m. ET
Apple TV+
Houston Astros Odds
MoneylineOver/UnderRun Line
-110o / -110u
Texas Rangers Odds
MoneylineOver/UnderRun Line
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Off the back of a much-needed series win over the Toronto Blue Jays, the Houston Astros will head on the road for the first time this season for a weekend set with the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.

The latest Astros vs Rangers odds have the Rangers as -120 favorites on the moneyline with an over/under set at 10. My Astros vs Rangers prediction is on Texas' moneyline.

Can Texas get another solid start out of young Cody Bradford and run out to a 5-2 start, or will the highly touted right arm of Hunter Brown get the better of this matchup and help Houston inch closer to .500?

Find out in my MLB betting preview for Friday, April 5, which includes my Astros vs Rangers pick.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Houston Astros

The breakout never came for Hunter Brown in 2023, which we probably should have expected. It's rare to see a pitcher — even one as talented as Brown — have immediate success in the big leagues, but even then there were certainly some positives.

Brown managed to strike out 27.8% of the batters he faced, which is well above the league average by a margin of nearly six percentage points. Given ground balls — rather than strikeouts — really got Brown through the minors, it was at least a welcomed sight to see him match his K-rates from the minors — something that can often take time for a young pitcher.

Not only that, but Brown also posted a .240 expected batting average. Granted, that is narrowly better than average; nevertheless, it was a huge positive and likely the result of a splendid 52.2% ground ball rate.

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It was the walks and barrels that ultimately did Brown in a year ago. Given that he plays in a somewhat friendly park for hitters, it was no surprise to see him post a 6.56 ERA in Houston and a 3.80 ERA away from home. Brown certainly was out to buck that trend in his first start of 2024, however, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and two walks with five punchouts in four frames against the New York Yankees.

What ultimately doomed Houston on that night was its bullpen, which currently holds a 6.00 ERA. There is some real concern given the massive amount of turnover in this stable, but the Astros relievers managed to go four scoreless in their most recent win after Cristian Javier started things off on a very positive note. Prior to that was a blown save from Josh Hader and a no-hitter from Ronel Blanco, so it's still anyone's guess how good this bullpen really is.

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Texas Rangers

Cody Bradford is on a quest to become the first pitcher to successfully overcome Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and establish himself as a useful big-league starter in the years to follow. Many have tried, and just a handful have even been able to produce one good season following the setback. To this point it's a mystery as to where Bradford stands after essentially a cup of coffee at the big league level.

There were some highlights for the big lefty a year ago, and he produced a very acceptable .244 Expected Batting Average to complement an elite walk rate. Like Brown, he had a penchant to give up some very loud contact all too often. Though in Bradford's case, he didn't quite keep the ball on the ground nearly enough: Instead, he pitched to an inflated 32.4% fly ball rate, which is 11 points ahead of the MLB average.

All in all, though, we have 56 innings of data to work with from the 2023 season, and Bradford impressed enough in the minors to earn the call over prospect Owen White. However, his spring was somewhat of a disaster, and his first start at home against the Cubs saw him surrender a two-run homer to Dansby Swanson. Though, ultimately Bradford pitched around the damage to finish with just the two earned runs on three hits over five frames.

Bradford now enters a matchup against an Astros side that has gone from seventh in barrels per plate appearance in 2022 to ninth last season and 14th in 2024.

Astros vs. Rangers

Betting Pick & Prediction

In a matchup between two pitchers with relatively similar weaknesses, I think the team ranked fourth in barrels per plate appearance a year ago and seventh in the early going is the more menacing of the two sides. Texas has been one of the fly ball-happiest teams in baseball dating back to the start of last season, and it also has taken a walk 10.3% of the time to further put Brown in a spot of bother.

For his career, Brown has put up a 1.39 ERA against the Rangers. But in a twist — the only time he faced the Astros' in-state rival in Arlington, he had a terrible go of it, allowing three runs on 10 hits in four innings. When you consider that was the last time he faced this team — and the third time altogether — it would seem the Rangers have Brown figured out, or at the very least enjoy life against him a bit more in a very hitter-friendly environment at Globe Life Field.

I'm not Bradford's biggest fan, but I am a much bigger fan of the Rangers offense this season compared to the Astros. The core of this offense is on the decline, and miserable starts from Alex Bregman and Jose Abreu have done well to cast a dark cloud over Jose Altuve's .345/.406/.759 slash line. Houston has found its offense in bunches, but given it has done nothing more than hold on to slightly above-average production in the past two seasons and has many aging players in positions of importance up and down the order, I am not totally confident.

When you mix in that Texas should have a bullpen advantage, I think this game is a bit mispriced. Brown is better than Bradford in a vacuum, sure, but neither pitcher is in a great spot pitching in a hitter's park given their weaknesses, so I think you have to trust the stronger of the two offenses.

Pick: Rangers Moneyline +120

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