Houston Astros (93-73) vs Texas Rangers (95-72)
2023-10-16 16:37:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Houston Astros -133 / Texas Rangers +119 --- Over/Under: 8.5
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The Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros meet Monday in MLB postseason action from Minute Maid Park. This will be Game 2 in a best-of-seven American League Championship Series. In Sunday’s ALCS opener matchup, the Rangers were able to strike first with a shutout victory. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
The Rangers stormed through their first two series this postseason. Texas took out the Rays in two Wild Card games 4-0 and 7-1, then beat the Orioles in the Division Series 3-2, 11-8 and 7-1 to keep it going. In Sunday’s ALCS Game 1 versus Houston, Texas posted six team hits in a nice 2-0 victory. Leody Taveras (two hits) managed a solo homer, and Jonah Helm added the other RBI.
For the starter role in Game 2 on Monday, the Rangers are sending out Nathan Eovaldi. In the regular season Eovaldi managed to go 12-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 25 starts this year. So far in the postseason Eovaldi is 2-0 with a nice 1.32 ERA over 13.2 innings of work.
Texas Rangers Team Facts
- The Rangers have won each of their last six playoff games as road underdogs following a win.
- The Rangers have covered the run line in each of their last 11 games as road underdogs following a win.
- The Rangers have led after 7 innings in each of their last five playoff games as underdogs.
- The Rangers have led after 5 innings in each of their last five playoff games as underdogs.
- The Rangers have led after 3 innings in each of their last three games.
Over on the Astros’ side, they didn’t have a ton of issues versus the Twins in their Division Series, taking the victory in four games. During Wednesday’s 3-2 clincher victory, Houston got a home run each from Jose Abreu (two RBI) and Michael Brantley for the runs. On Sunday the Astros were flummoxed at the plate, wasting a nice start by Justin Verlander (6.2 innings; two earned). Houston posted two walks and no batter had more than one hit.
It’ll be Framber Valdez in the starting role for the Astros on Monday. This year Valdez posted a 12-11 run over the regular season with a 3.45 ERA in 31 starts. Valdez is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA over 4.1 innings in his lone start so far this postseason.
Houston Astros Team Facts
- The Astros have won each of their last 12 games against the Rangers following a loss.
- The underdogs have covered the run line in each of the last nine games between the Rangers and Astros.
- The Astros have won the first inning in each of their last four day games.
- The Astros have trailed after 7 innings in each of their last five games at Minute Maid Park against AL West opponents that held a winning record.
- The Astros have trailed after 3 innings in eight of their last nine games as favorites against AL West opponents.
- The Houston Astros rank 3rd in the league for hits this season (1441).
- The Houston Astros rank 3rd in the league for strikeouts against this season (1241).
- The Texas Rangers rank 2nd in the league for hits this season (1470).
- The Texas Rangers rank 2nd in the league for doubles this season (326).
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll stay with the Rangers in this one. Eovaldi should be good for a quality start in this one; over his two postseason starts so far he’s looking good. Eovaldi put up 7.0 innings of one-run ball versus the Orioles in his last start Wednesday, giving up five hits, no walks and striking out seven batters. As for Valdez, he pitched in Houston’s only loss of the Twins series with 4.1 innings, five earned, seven hits and three walks. I like Valdez to bounce back and look better in this one, though. We should have another pretty low-scoring game, and Texas would be just fine in that scenario.
In the Sunday opener, the Rangers got an encouraging start from Jordan Montgomery (6.1 innings; five hits; one walk six Ks) and the bullpen followed up nicely with 2.2 clean no-hit innings. Eovaldi should keep things close in Game 2, so with a few hits at the plate and another solid pen effort Texas will be in a great position.