The Texas Rangers play host to the Houston Astros on opening day in Arlington at 3:35 PM ET. The defending World Champion Houston Astros are favored (-165) over the Texas Rangers (+145) in a game in which the over-under stands at 10.
The Houston Astros opening day starter will be 2017 postseason hero, Justin Verlander, who finished the year 15-8 with 219 total strikeouts. He was 5-0 with a ridiculous 1.06 ERA after coming to the Astros from the Tigers to shore up the postseason rotation for Houston.
Houston Astros Projected Starting nine
George Springer OF
Alex Bregman 3B
Jose Altuve 2B
Carlos Correa SS
Josh Reddick OF
Marwin Gonzales 1B
Brian McCann C
Evan Gattis DH
Jay Masernick OF
Every conversation about the Houston Astros begins and ends with the amazing Jose Altuve. While the Altuve-Trout debate rages on, Altuve is hands down the best player in the MLB not named Mike Trout.
His sky high batting averages and power speed combination put him in the ranks of the best players, much less second baseman, to ever play the game. He alone could change the complexion of any team in Major league Baseball.
When you look at the rest of Astros line-up, which is paired with arguably the best player in the MLB, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how they won the October Classic in 2017. World Series MVP George Springer is the most powerful leadoff man in the majors and Carlos Correa may become the best offensive shortstop in the league in 2018.
With a team full of top notch veterans and emerging young talent, and it is not hard to see the Houston Astros going back to the World Series in 2018. This lineup is a nightmare for any opposing pitcher and their rotation of Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr, Gerit Cole, and Charlie Morton is easily the best in baseball.
Rangers Underdogs on Opening Day
Cole Hamels is the opening day starter for the Texas Rangers. Once one of the premier starters in MLB, the 34 year old Hamels is clearly in decline as his ERA is rising and his strikeout rat is falling. He still has the stuff to be at the front of a rotation but will have to prove this year he can return to ace form if he expects to be pitching on any more opening days.
Delino DeShields — CF|
Joey Gallo — 1B
Elvis Andrus — SS
Adrian Beltre — 3B
Nomar Mazara — RF
Sin Soo Choo — DH
Robinson Chirinos — C
Rougned Odor — 2B
Ryan Rua — LF
The Texas Rangers have seemed close to becoming contenders for the past several years and still boast a very dangerous line-up. However, with the oft injured Yu Darvish moving on to the Chicago Cubs, this team has a feel of an upcoming rebuild if they are not able to produce results in the now.
Cole Hamels could pitch a gem and the Rangers powerful line-up might catch Verlander on an off day but I’m going to go with the dynamic Astros lineup with fire-baller Justin Verlander on the mound. Take the favorite Astros -165 in this game. Astros win 4-2.
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