Rangers vs. Astros Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Over/Under (Aug. 11)
Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeremy Pena #3 of the Houston Astros.
- In-state AL West rivals face off on Thursday afternoon when the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros meet renew their Lone Star Series.
- Texas earned an extra-innings victory in yesterday's matchup, but Houston is nonetheless a huge favorite for Thursday's rubber match.
- MLB betting analyst Mike Ianniello previews today's Lone Star Series showdown, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Rangers vs. Astros at 2:10 p.m. ET.
Rangers vs. Astros Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
Houston has won the AL West division crown in four of the last five seasons and is positioned to make that five out of six seasons with a 10.5-game lead over the Seattle Mariners.
It’s a two-team race, as Texas sits 21 games back and 12 games below .500. The Rangers are just 13-23 since July 1. Houston has beat up on its in-state rival this season, going 9-4 against the Rangers.
Houston earned the win on Tuesday, but the Rangers bounced back yesterday for a big win in extra innings. Which team will close out the Lone Star Series with a win on Thursday afternoon?
One of the top 30 prospects in the Rangers system — and their 13th-best pitching prospect — Cole Ragans will make his second career start after debuting last week (Aug. 4) against the White Sox.
Ragans’ debut was excellent: He did not allow an earned run and gave up just three hits in five innings. Texas picked up a 3-2 win in his debut.
However, Ragans’ four issued walks are a lingering concern from last week’s debut appearance. He has made 18 minor league starts this year between Double-A and Triple-A, combining for a 3.04 ERA. His best pitch is his changeup, which has great movement.
Texas made a couple big offseason moves, signing a pair of All-Stars in shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien. Yet, those transactions haven’t produced results like the franchise had hoped: The Rangers rank 20th in wOBA.
Seager and Semien have each struggled this season. Seager is batting just .253 with a .343 wOBA, and Semien is hitting .238 with a .305 wOBA. Moreover, Semien reports a wRC+ below 100.
Earlier this season, Framber Valdez earned the Opening Day start for the Astros for the first time. Then, Valdez followed up that achievement by earning his first All-Star selection. The 28-year-old is 10-4 with a 2.87 ERA and 3.25 xERA.
Valdez is as consistent as they come. He has completed at least six innings in 18 consecutive starts. Furthermore, he has averaged 6 1/3 innings per start during the last two seasons. Valdez has allowed seven home runs all season — the third-fewest among all qualified starters.
Houston continues to lose pieces each offseason but just keeps retooling. The Astros rank top 10 in wOBA and wRC+. This team is deep, and it rarely strikes out, consistently posting one of the lowest strikeout rates in MLB.
If it wasn’t for Aaron Judge playing on another planet and Shohei Ohtani pitching and hitting, Yordan Alvarez would be getting much more MVP buzz this season. He has bombed 30 home runs, ranks second in wRC+ and leads all of baseball in xwOBA.
Rangers vs. Astros Pick
Ragans looked good in his first start, but he is still just 24-years-old and making his first road start against a high-powered Astros offense. He struggled with walks and now faces of the league’s most patient teams at the plate.
Valdez has been terrific and as consistent as they come, but he has a couple key metrics that are concerning. He sits below league average in strikeout rate, ranks in the bottom 31% in average exit velocity and ranks in the bottom 37% in walk rate. Valdez also is much better on the road, posting just a 4.01 ERA at home.
Houston is a massive -300 favorite, so it is difficult to play a side, but I like the over in this matchup. I expect the Astros to do most of the heavy lifting, but if Valdez gets into trouble with his control and hard contact, the Rangers should be able to chip in enough to send this over.
Pick: Over 8 (-115)
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