Texas Rangers (97-72) vs Houston Astros (93-75)
2023-10-18 20:03:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Texas Rangers -125 / Houston Astros +115 --- Over/Under: 9
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The Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers meet Wednesday in MLB postseason action from Globe Life Field. This matchup will be Game 3 in a best-of-seven American League Championship Series playoff. The Rangers lead the series 2-0 after winning the first two road games in Houston this week. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
The Astros haven’t been able to find a groove over the first two games of this series, even though both were at Minute Maid Park. Houston fell 2-0 on five team hits in the opener on Sunday, then coughed up four runs in the first inning on the way to a 5-4 loss in Game 2. Yordan Alvarez (two solo home runs; three runs), Michael Brantley (two hits; RBI) and Alex Bregman (solo homer) were the only offensive bright spots in Monday’s loss.
Cristian Javier will take the mound for the Game 3 start in an effort to stop the bleeding for Houston. This regular season Javier went 10-5 with a 4.56 ERA in 31 starts. In his lone postseason appearance this year Javier managed a win with 5.0 clean innings versus the Twins.
Houston Astros Team Facts
- The Astros have won each of their last eight games as road underdogs following a loss.
- The Astros have covered the run line in each of their last 15 games as underdogs following a loss.
- The Astros have won the first inning in three of their last four games as underdogs against the Rangers.
- The Astros have led after 7 innings in each of their last five playoff games as underdogs.
- The ‘Inning 1 OVER 0.5 runs’ market has hit in each of the Astros’ last four night games at Globe Life Field.
Over on the Rangers’ side, they got a great pitching performance (and just enough offense) on Sunday in the shutout victory, kicked off by Jordan Montgomery’s 6.1 innings, five hits, one walk and six Ks. Game 2 was sketchier at times but Texas managed to head off any big rallies. Jonah Helm aided matters at the plate with a solo home run, and Marcus Semien contributed a pair of hits and a run in the win.
It’ll be Max Scherzer in the starting role for the Rangers Wednesday. Scherzer went 13-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 27 starts this season. He’s coming off a low-grade strain in his shoulder and hasn’t pitched since September 13, so this will be Scherzer’s first postseason appearance this year.
Texas Rangers Team Facts
- The underdogs have won each of the last six games between the Astros and Rangers.
- The underdogs have covered the run line in each of the last 10 games between the Astros and Rangers.
- The Rangers have led after 3 innings in each of their last five home games.
- The Rangers have lost the first inning in each of their last three Wednesday games as home favorites.
- The Rangers have led after 7 innings in each of their last nine home games.
- 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).
- 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).
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll probably take a stab on the Astros in this one. You could make a compelling case either way however, as Texas has been great so far in this series and should be comfortable at home. Scherzer threw a live bullpen session ahead of the ALCS and looked pretty good. In all likelihood Scherzer will be limited to the 65-70 pitch neighborhood if all goes well in Game 3; that’ll be 4-5 innings or so depending on how the game plays out. After that it’ll be up to the Texas bullpen, which has given up just one earned run in two games (courtesy of Aroldis Chapman).
As for Houston, Javier should be able to give the team a quality start. The Astros really need to get the bats going early on to generate some confidence on the road, however. Houston has only had one batter with multiple hits in each game so far, which is out of character for a talented offense. I like the Astros to wake up at the plate and show some life in Game 3, but it’ll be another good matchup to watch regardless.