Are there two better words in the world of sports than Game 7?
I don’t think there are, and we get to experience it on Monday night in the American League Championship Series with the Houston Astros hosting the Texas Rangers.
After losing three of three games in Texas, the Rangers bounced back to steal Game 6 in Houston. A home team has not won a game in this series – a wild occurrence – but does that change in Game 7?
Houston is looking to get back to the World Series to defend its title from last season, and the team is turning to right-hander Cristian Javier to get it done. Veteran Max Scherzer will toe the rubber for the Rangers.
Rangers vs. Astros probable pitchers for ALCS Game 7
- Texas: Max Scherzer (righty) – 13-6, 3.77 ERA
- Houston: Cristian Javier (righty) – 10-5, 4.56 ERA
This will be the second start of the postseason for Scherzer. Javier has made two postseason appearances in 2023, posting a 1.69 ERA across 10.2 innings.
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Rangers vs. Astros odds, run line and total
Rangers vs. Astros prediction and pick
Even though a home team hasn’t won a game in this series, I can’t fade the Astros in a must-win spot.
This team has way more experience than Texas in this scenario, and the Astros have a huge advantage on the mound against Scherzer.
After missing the end of the regular season with an injury, Scherzer returned to start Game 3, and he did not fare well. The three-time Cy Young award winner allowed five runs in four innings of work, the second straight postseason start where he’s struggled (he allowed seven runs in his lone outing for the New York Mets in 2022).
For his career, Scherzer has been solid in the playoffs – posting a 3.80 ERA – but he may not be 100 percent entering this game, which makes it extremely tough to back him.
The Rangers bullpen has been taxed, as the team was leading 4-2 before breaking things open in the ninth inning in Game 6. We already saw that ‘pen blow Game 5, can we really trust the team to hold this Houston team down in back-to-back games?
I’m not willing to bet on it.
Javier has been solid this postseason, and he has a career playoff ERA of 2.08. I trust Houston’s starter a little more than Scherzer, and the team’s experience in the playoffs should pay off in a Game 7 scenario.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.