This is the time of year when every team, even those who are out in front and among the best in the game, evaluate their line-ups to try and discover holes that need to be plugged. Very few teams are solid from top to bottom, which is why we so often see division leaders dip their toe into the market when the trade deadline rolls around, which it will do again very soon. In some cases, the shortcomings of a team are blatantly obvious, while others are a little more subtle.
The Houston Astros are at the top of the AL West, but there are a lot of folks who think that they need some help with their pitching staff, so perhaps look for them to make a move at the deadline to get a couple of good arms in there. Right now, the Astros are simply trying to maintain their lead in the division, which they will look to do when they head back home for a weekend series with the Texas Rangers. The Astros are favored by 1 ½ on Friday night, with the run total set at 8.
Rangers vs Astros MLB Betting Lines & Game Analysis
- When: Friday, July 19 at 8:10 PM EST
- Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
- Starting Pitchers: Minor vs. Verlander
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Radio: 610 AM
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Betting Lines: Houston Astros -225 (Total 8)
Why bet on the Texas Rangers?
There is a lot of trade talk swirling at the moment, and with the Texas Rangers beginning to lose a little ground in the playoff race, they find themselves at the heart of it. Specifically. It is P Mike Minor who is getting a lot of the press, a situation that he has openly said that he is none too pleased about. The Rangers are in a tricky position in that they are still in the playoff picture, albeit in the Wild Card.
They are 10 games off the pace being set in the West by the Astros, but just 4 ½ games out in the WC. They may be able to add some pieces if they trade Minor, but what will the overall impact be? This has been a close series, with the Rangers trailing 8-6 versus the Astros. It will be Mike Minor (8-4, 2.73 ERA) who gets the start here.
- Runs: 5.36
- Hits: 8.60
- Walks: 3.52
- Strike Outs: 10.06
- Runs: 5.38
- Hits: 9.48
- Walks: 3.55
- Strike Outs: 8.52
Why bet on the Houston Astros?
The Houston Astros will be happy to be back home after enduring an 8-game road trip that saw them return with a 4-4 record. While still in the lead in the AL West, they have seen their once double-digit lead cut to 5 ½ games by the Oakland A’s. They would have loved a better outcome from their road trip, but they can now settle in at home, where they have been a stellar 33-14 this season.
Houston has won 5 of their last 6 games in their own ballpark and are 11-6 overall in their last 17 games. Their pitching issues have helped 5 of their last 7 games go OVER. One player that has been steady on the mound is Justin Verlander (11-4, 2.98 ERA), who gets the start in this one.
- Runs: 5.20
- Hits: 9.29
- Walks: 3.86
- Strike Outs: 7.03
- Runs: 4.19
- Hits: 7.52
- Walks: 2.87
- Strike Outs: 10.03
Rangers vs Astros MLB Betting Trends
- Rangers are 48-56 against the money line in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons
- Astros are 28-23 against the money line in home games against division opponents over the last 2 seasons
- Minor is 2-3 when starting against HOUSTON with an ERA of 4.60 and a WHIP of 1.292
- Verlander is 17-9 when starting against TEXAS with an ERA of 2.96 and a WHIP of 1.101
- Rangers are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Houston
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Texas’ last 8 games against an opponent in the American League
- Astros are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Houston’s last 7 games
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Rangers vs Astros
This is an excellent pitching match-up that we are getting on Friday night, which is why I am leaning towards the UNDER in an Astros win.
Score: Texas Rangers 3 – Houston Astros 4