On Thursday, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will begin a four-game series with bragging rights in the Lone Star State on the line. At home, the Astros are huge favorites with a moneyline of -210, while the Rangers have a moneyline of +175. There is also an over/under for this game of 8.5 runs.
Despite being heavy underdogs, the Rangers enter this game on a four-game winning streak. Texas is fresh off a sweep of the Angels and has won two of its last three series. In fact, the Rangers are now 10-5 in May, crawling within two games of .500 and six games of the first-place Astros in the AL West.
Of course, the Astros have been one of the hottest teams in the majors since the end of April. Nevertheless, they dropped two of three games against the Red Sox earlier this week before coming home on Thursday. But thanks to the Angels getting swept by the Rangers, the Astros are one game ahead of the Halos atop the AL West.
Get It Together
The Astros will look to Framber Valdez on Thursday to help get them back on track. The lefty is 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA over his first seven starts of 2022. Outside of one bad start last month, Valdez has been outstanding, giving up just three runs over his last 13.2 innings, although the Astros are just 3-4 in his starts.
Meanwhile, Houston’s lineup seems to have cooled down a little. Granted, the Astros exploded for 13 runs during a win over the Red Sox on Tuesday, but they only scored a total of four runs in the other two games of the series. While the Houston lineup is loaded with power, nobody but Yuli Gurriel and Michael Brantley appear to be in a groove right now.
You Can Do It, Otto
The Rangers are hoping that Glenn Otto can help keep the Houston lineup contained in Thursday’s series opener. Unfortunately for Otto, he’s posted a 6.38 ERA over his first four starts of the season. While he had a decent outing against the Astros last month, Otto got crushed by the Red Sox in his last start, giving up eight runs on eight hits over four innings while hurting himself with four walks.
The good news is that the Texas lineup has caught fire during the team’s current winning streak. While it’s a small sample, the Rangers are averaging 7.5 runs per game during their four-game winning streak, scoring at least six runs in each game. Surprisingly, it’s been Kole Calhoun leading the way with seven of his 11 hits over the last seven games going for extra bases, while Adolis Garcia and Corey Seager are also waking up.
Rangers/Astros Betting Prediction
While the Rangers appear to be red-hot, the Astros are just the type of team that can cool them off. Texas can’t rely on Otto being able to keep the Houston lineup under wraps, which could make it tough for the Rangers to continue their winning streak, especially with Valdez on the mound. Bet on the Astros to take care of business at home and get the win on Thursday.
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