The Houston Astros visit the ballpark in Arlington on Friday night to take on the Texas Rangers. First pitch will be at 6:15 p.m. Houston is 40-25 on the year, good enough for second place in the American League West Division. Meanwhile, in the same division, the Rangers are in last place, with a record of 27-39. This game carries a certain importance not only because these teams are in State rivals but because they are also in the same division. The difference is that the Rangers are trying to dig themselves out of the basement, while the Astros are competing for the postseason.
Charlie Morton will take the mound for the Astros. He has been on fire this year, amassing a record of 7-1. He has also earned a 2.84 ERA. Mike Minor will be on the mound for the Rangers. Minor is an even 4-4 on the year, with a 5.76 ERA. The Astros are favored in this matchup: at -175.
Morton has pretty much owned the Ranger lineup throughout their careers. He has faced Joey Gallo 12 times and hasn’t given up a single hit. He has also faced Shin Soo Choo 13 times and only given up 2 hits. It’s safe to say that, for the most part, he has been successful against this Ranger lineup.
Offensively, Jose Altuve is once again leading the way for the Astros. He is batting .341 so far this year, and has driven in 33 runs. He also adds five home runs to his stats. His on-base percentage is only hampered but his 41 strikeouts. If he can improve his plate discipline, he should be well on his way two leading his team to victory again.
Adrian Beltre is one Ranger who has not been phased by Morton’s brilliant pitching. He has faced Morton 9 times, and his hit safely four times, including one home run. On the year, he is hitting .290. He has also driven in 15 runs. Look for him to try to do some damage early to potentially chase Morton from the game. Nomar Mazara has also been hitting the ball very well for the Rangers. He has driven in a massive 41 runs so far this year. He is also batting .266. On top of all this, he has also hit 14 home runs. The Rangers will need to be firing on all cylinders if they are going to best Morton and the Astros.
Astros Shut Down Rangers
Simply put: Charlie Morton is having a career season. It’s hard to imagine the team in the basement of the division handing him his second loss. However, in Major League Baseball any team can win on any given day. Even if the Rangers hitters have good games, they would be counting on a picture who has been inconsistent to shut down a very tough Astro lineup. Look for the Astros to take this game easily. Bet on the Astros: at -175.
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