Texas Rangers (15-24) at Houston Astros (24-15)
|Date & Time||Saturday May 12, 2018, 7:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -260 / Texas Rangers +220 --- Over/Under: 8.5
We have some AL West division MLB action on Saturday as the Texas Rangers take on the Houston Astros in game two of their three game set from Minute Maid Park.
The Texas Rangers will look to build on back-to-back wins, opening the series with a 1-0 win over the ‘Stros in game one on Friday. Jurickson Profar went 1 for 3 with a double and his sac fly RBI was the lone run of the game on either side. Nomar Mazara went 2 for 4 with a double while Delino DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo each had a base hit as well in the winning effort as Texas mustered up just five hits as a team. Cole Hamels threw six shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out five to improve to 2-4 this season and Keone Kela locked up the ninth for his 8th save of the season. Doug Fister will start game two and is 1-3 with a 4.02 ERA and 25 strikeouts this season. In his career, Fister is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 19 strikeouts against Houston.
The Houston Astros will look to rebound after having their three game winning streak snapped with their game one loss on Friday. Evan Gattis’ 5th inning single was the lone base hit for the Astros in the losing effort as the rest of the Houston lineup went 0 for 24 with 7 strikeouts. Justin Verlander took the loss, falling to 4-2 this season after giving up just one run on three hits while striking out seven over six innings of work. Charlie Morton will start game two and is 4-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 48 strikeouts this season. In his career, Morton is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA and 29 strikeouts against Texas.
Texas is 10-21 in their last 31 division matchups and 1-4 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record while the over is 5-1-1 in their last 7 road games. Houston is 7-3 in Morton’s last 10 home starts and 22-9 in their last 31 division matchups while the under is 6-1 in their last 7 games overall. Texas is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings between these two teams in Houston.
Hamels was able to outduel Verlander on Friday, but it’s not often you lose a game and keep your ERA just over one like Verlander did. Morton has been shaky lately, but he’s still unbeaten this year and it’s only a matter of time before this Astros offense wakes up. Fister gave up six runs in his last start to a Boston team that I think Houston is on the same level as offensively, so I’ll back the Astros and lay the run line to negate some of the juice.