The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will wrap up their regular-season series Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, with the closing contest of a four-game set. The first pitch is set at 8:05 PM ET, so we’re taking a closer look at this AL West showdown to get you the best Astros vs. Rangers betting pick and odds.
Houston opened as a firm -220 moneyline fave on Bookmaker Sportsbook. Texas is a +200 home dog with a total of 9.0 runs, and the Rangers have lost 12 of their first 17 encounters with the Astros in 2021 (Game 18 has been excluded from the analysis).
The Astros are cruising through the AL West despite their shaky form
The Houston Astros fell to 84-60 following an 8-1 defeat at the Rangers this past Tuesday. It was their fifth loss in the last ten games overall, but the Astros were still topping the AL West, a huge six and a half games ahead of the second-placed Seattle Mariners.
Houston has scored 63 runs through its first 12 outings in September, posting a .286/.378/.508 batting line and smacking 17 home runs in the process. On the pitching side of things, the Astros have compiled a 4.19 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and a .240 batting average against.
Framber Valdez (10-5; 3.26 ERA) will toe the rubber Thursday, looking to break out of his funk. The 27-year-old southpaw has allowed ten earned runs over his previous three starts and 18 innings of work. Valdez has met the Rangers twice in 2021, earning a win on both occasions while posting a 1.38 ERA and 0.77 WHIP through 13 innings.
The Rangers trounced Zack Greinke
The Texas Rangers improved to 54-90 on the season following that thrashing of the Astros last Tuesday. They tagged Zack Greinke for three home runs, while Jordan Lyles fired seven scoreless innings while punching out seven.
The Rangers’ season is ruined, but they’ve played very well lately, winning ten of their previous 15 games at any location. Texas has registered a pedestrian 4.80 ERA in September while slashing .257/.310/.384.
Glenn Otto (0-1; 6.92) will take the mound Thursday against Houston and meet the Astros for the second time in 2021. Back in August, the 25-year-old rookie threw five scoreless frames and surrendered just a couple of hits to the Astros while punching out seven. However, Otto got pounded by the Oakland Athletics last Friday, yielding a whopping eight earned runs on eight hits and a walk across 3.1 frames of work.
- 8-2 in the last ten games against Texas
- 9-18 in the last 27 games against the AL West
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Pick
Framber Valdez has struggled lately, so this is a nice opportunity for the Astros’ left to turn the corner and get back on the right track. Valdez has been doing a great job for the Astros for most of the 2021 season, including a couple of top-notch outings against Texas.
Hereof, I’m expecting Framber to extend his dominance and pitch deep into the game. On the other side, the Astros’ bats will have a huge motive to hit well against Glenn Otto, who’s been awful last time out. If you’re not satisfied with the moneyline odds on the visitors, take them to cover, as five of Houston’s last six wins came by two or more runs.
Pick: Take Houston Astros -1.5 at -140
I’m going with the over on the totals, expecting the Astros to get things going at the plate. They scored just one run last Tuesday after dropping 15 on the Rangers in Monday’s opener of this four-game series.
Texas has improved a bit offensively in the last few weeks, so the Rangers should be able to score a few runs. The Astros bullpen has recorded a 3.19 ERA and 4.52 FIP so far this month, while the Rangers bullpen has posted a 3.91 ERA and 4.74 FIP.
Pick: Go over 9.0 runs at -105