The Houston Astros were swept by the New York Yankees over the weekend, but they have a chance at redemption against the Texas Rangers in an AL West clash this week.
Texas and Houston are tied in the AL wild card standings, both sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. This series is huge, as one team could find itself outside of the top three in the wild card if it gets swept.
Houston has youngster J.P. France on the mound for Game 1 on Monday, and he’ll take on veteran left-hander Andrew Heaney.
Astros vs. Rangers probable pitchers for Monday, Sept. 4
- Astros: J.P. France (righty) – 10-5, 3.49 ERA
- Rangers: Andrew Heaney (lefty) – 9-6, 4.16 ERA
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Let’s dive into the odds and my best bet for this game:
Astros vs. Rangers odds, run line and total
Astros vs. Rangers prediction and pick
The Astros come into this game as slight underdogs, and I think that makes them a terrific bet against Heaney and company.
Texas has fallen off as of late, blowing a division lead and starting to struggle at the dish as well. The team is just 18th in OPS over the last 15 days. Even with its sweep at the hands of New York, Houston is fifth in that category.
I also think the Astros have an advantage since they’re facing a lefty in Heaney – who has been average in 2023 with a 4.76 Fielding Independent Pitching.
Houston is No. 2 in Major League Baseball in OPS against left-handed pitchers, and Heaney has traditionally struggled with the long ball, allowing 22 homers this season and 20-plus homers in three of his last four full seasons (not counting the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season).
France’s ERA jumped way up after allowing 10 runs in 2.1 innings to the Boston Red Sox last month, but he allowed two or fewer earned runs in his other four starts. Prior to the Boston blow up, France had a 2.75 ERA in 2023.
I’ll trust him to lead the Astros to a bounce-back win on Labor Day.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.