The Houston Astros had a day off yesterday and they might have needed a little reset after an under .500 start to the season. They got the bad taste out of their mouth with a 7-0 win over the Pirates on Wednesday and now they host their in-state rival at 6-7. The Texas Rangers are 7-5 after taking two of three from the Royals.
The Rangers have their lefty, Martin Perez on the mound against the Astros, and they have to hope that he can neutralize Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez tonight. Perez is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA in his two starts this season. Luis Garcia will start for Houston and he is 0-1 and has a 7.00 ERA across his first two.
It’s an all Texas three-game series this weekend and here are the odds for Game 1.
Rangers vs. Astros odds, run line and total
Rangers vs. Astros prediction and pick
A left-hander is a good move against the Astros right now because Tucker and Alvarez are clearly their two offensive catalysts and both swing it from the left side.
Tucker has an OPS of 1.051 with four home runs, and Alvarez has a .995 OPS with three long balls. They are far and away the two most successful hitters this season on the Astros with Alex Bregman in a big slump and Jeremy Pena and Jose Abreu both with an OPS under .700.
Last year, both Tucker and Alvarez both had good numbers against lefties a season ago, but not quite as strong against righties.
Since they’re both solid hitters against lefties, it’s actually a detriment to have Perez on the mound because that gets some of the struggling right-handers more comfortable at the plate. The Astros are sixth in the MLB in team OPS against lefties, .838 compared to a .699 OPS against right-handed pitching which is 22nd in the league.
Texas and Perez might have a tough time keeping runs off the board, but so will Luis Garcia. He is in the seventh percentile in expected batting average and 13th percentile in expected slugging. I think we will see a high-scoring affair in Houston, so I’ll take the over.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change