Bragging rights in the Lone Star State are up for grabs on Thursday afternoon when the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros close out their series. It’s their first series of the season with two more to come. Houston will be a sizable betting favorite on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Rangers at Astros MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 2:10 PM ET
- Where: Minute Maid Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): TBA
- TV: MLB Extra Innings, MLB Network
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
This series will be played as scheduled beginning on Tuesday. The Astros had a game postponed on Sunday following a positive COVID-19 test in the A’s organization and Houston even had to shut down their alternate site over the weekend due to a positive COVID test, but there haven’t been any more confirmed cases and Houston resumed action on Tuesday.
The Rangers earlier this week traded pitcher Mike Minor to the A’s, third baseman Todd Frazier to the Mets, catcher Robinson Chirinos to the Mets, put second baseman Rougned Odor on the injured list and activated shortstop Elvis Andrus. Odor has been largely terrible this season. Andrus had been on the IL since Aug. 20 with a lower-back strain. Prior to the injury, he had a .494 OPS with just three RBI in 21 games. The Rangers were primarily using Frazier at first, and they’ll go to Ronald Guzman in that spot most games. Odor has been battling this infection in his right eye since early last week.
Minor, who signed a three-year contract with the Rangers on December 6, 2017, finishes with a 26-23 record and 4.00 ERA over 67 games/starts with Texas over the past three seasons. He ranks among all-time Texas leaders (minimum 300.0 innings) in strikeouts per 9 innings (4th, 8.24), WHIP (7th, 1.203), and opponent batting average (8th, .241).
What is surprising is that the team didn’t trade ace Lance Lynn, and he’s scheduled to pitch here. The Braves, White Sox, Twins, and Dodgers all were heavy after Lynn.
Lynn has been a revelation since joining Texas last season and he’s a workhorse as well, throwing at least 100 pitches in 32 consecutive starts dating back to last season. No other pitcher has thrown at least 100 pitches in more than seven straight starts. He has been great this year with a 1.93 ERA over eight starts and is owed $9.33 million next season before hitting free agency.
Lynn (4-1) was charged with four runs — three earned — over six innings on Saturday in a loss to the Dodgers. Lynn certainly held his own against a formidable Dodgers lineup over six solid frames. He recorded six strikeouts and walked three batters. He gave up only five hits, including a two-run homer to Cody Bellinger in the third inning. He owns a pristine ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 56/17 K/BB ratio across 51 1/3 innings.
Lynn made four starts against the Astros last year and went 1-3 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.Why Bet on Houston?
Entering this week, the Astros have dominated the Silver Boot Series lately, winning the prize in three straight seasons (2017-19). Houston went 13-6 against the Rangers in 2019, including a perfect 9-0 record at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros had a coronavirus scare of sorts when their alternate training facility was closed Sunday on the heels of a positive COVID-19 test, but fortunately there haven’t been any other positive tests in the organization. Houston didn’t play Sunday but was back in action Tuesday.
Houston remains without star third baseman Alex Bregman due to a hamstring injury. He has been working out at the team’s alternate site. Bregman, a two-time All-Star, is hitting .272 with four home runs and 14 RBIs this season.
Even with Bregman out, the Astros lead the AL in runs per game (5.33), while ranking third in runs scored (176). They’ve done this by making contact, having struck out just once every 5.06 plate appearances, the best ratio in the AL.
Carlos Correa has played 90 consecutive games at shortstop without an error, which is a franchise record. His current streak is the longest for a shortstop since Adeiny Hechavarria posted a 94-game errorless streak from July 31, 2017-June 29, 2018. The MLB record for shortstops is 110 games, set by Baltimore’s Mike Bordick in 2002.
The Astros haven’t announced their starter for this one yet. It should either be Zack Greinke or a bullpen game. Greinke yielded three runs over five innings on Saturday in a win over the Athletics. Greinke surrendered six hits, including solo homers to Ramon Laureano and Matt Chapman in the and fourth innings, respectively. He finished with six strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter in this one.
Greinke was battling a stiff neck during the game. Houston had a backup option warming up before first pitch just in case, but Greinke was able to loosen up his neck while going through warmups.
The 36-year-old veteran right-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven consecutive starts to open the abbreviated 2020 campaign. He’ll carry a stellar 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 35/6 K/BB ratio across 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) into this one if it’s him.Expert PredictionAstros 7, Rangers 4
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