Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers
It’s The Battle of Texas as interleague play takes over the Lone Star State and the Texas Rangers host the Houston Astros. The Rangers are -160 favorites over the Astros with an over/under run total set at 9.5.
The Texas Rangers took two of three from the Atlanta Braves over the weekend but the reality of it is this is a team that has struggled of late. The Rangers are 3-7 in their last 10 games, 20-13 at home, and have a slim half game lead over Seattle Mariners. As a team Texas is hitting .263 with Michael Young hitting .307, Mitch Moreland hitting .297, and Josh Hamilton is hitting .286. The Rangers’ pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.90 with the starters at 3.70 and the bullpen at 4.35. For game one against their in state rival Texas starts Derek Holland who was bombed in his last start. For the season Holland has allowed 94 hits and 46 earned runs while striking out 70 over 86.2 innings of work.
The Houston Astros have the worst record in baseball but even so they haven’t been a pushover. The Astros are 3-7 in their last 10 games, 14-21 on the road this year, and they are 13 games back in in the NL Central. As a team Houston is hitting .262 led by Hunter Pence at .321, Brett Wallace at .308, and Michael Bourn at .279. As a team the Astros pitching staff has an ERA of 4.51 with the starters at 4.45 and the bullpen at 4.64. For game one in Arlington Houston starts Bid Norris who allowed one hit over six innings in his last outing only getting a no decision in a game Houston lost. For the season Norris has allowed 79 hits and 34 earned runs while striking out 95 in 94 innings of work.
Texas is 23-9 in their last 32 games against the NL Central, 2-5 in their last seven games overall, and 8-3 in Holland’s last 11 home starts. Houston is 4-0 in their last four road games against a left handed starter, 4-12 in their last 16 games overall, and 13-4 in Norris’ last 17 starts as an underdog. Houston is 2-10 in the last 12 meetings of these two.
Houston’s problem isn’t hitting, it has been the pitching and we’ll be seeing plenty of free swinging from both of these teams and with well over 600 runs scored between these two this season we see plenty again here. Take the over 9.5 in today’s game.