After taking the first of two games in Arlington, the Houston Astros will go for the sweep of the rival Texas Rangers this afternoon at Globe Life Field.
Last night, Houston picked up win #83 on the season, riding eight excellent innings by Framber Valdez and a combined five hits and three runs by Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena to a 4-2 win.
The win helped provide some positivity for a day that saw AL Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander be placed on the 15-day injured list with a right calf injury, following his early exit from Sunday’s start against the Baltimore Orioles.
Fortunately for the Astros, they should be just fine thanks to their strong stable of starters. That includes Cristian Javier, who has a combined no-hitter and a sub-3.00 ERA to his name this season and will be on the mound in this matchup opposite All-Star hurler Martin Perez.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Matchup Information and Betting Odds Matchup Information Matchup: Houston Astros (83-47, 40-27 away, 1st in the AL West) vs. Texas Rangers (58-70, 28-37 home, 3rd in the AL West) Venue & Location: Globe Life Field (Arlington, Texas) Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2022 Game Time: 2:05 p.m. Eastern Time (1:05 p.m. local time) Astros vs. Rangers TV Info: MLB Network Astros vs. Rangers Pitching Matchup Houston Astros: Cristian Javier (2022: 24 appearances – 19 starts, 7-9, 2.97 ERA) Texas Rangers: Martin Perez (2022: 25 starts, 10-4, 2.69 ERA) Astros vs. Rangers Odds Game odds are via FanDuel. Odds from other recommended legal sports betting sites may also be mentioned in this article. Moneyline Houston Astros -142 Texas Rangers +120 Over/Under Over 7.5 (-106) Under 7.5 (-114) Run Line Houston Astros -1.5 (+115) Texas Rangers +1.5 (-138) Will the Astros Solve Perez Again?
There aren’t going to be many bright spots as a team when you are a dozen games under .500 and the manager has been given his pink slip, but Perez’s surprising career season continues to motor along with few individual hiccups.
In his most recent start, he was excellent against Colorado last Wednesday. He tossed six shutout innings, allowed four hits and one walk, and struck out seven.
Since the All-Star break, Perez has six quality starts in seven starts. In those six starts, he has allowed just eight runs.
That is one more run than he allowed in the outlier of the bunch, which came against the Astros on August 9. In that outing, he tied his season high with seven runs allowed and gave up six hits and three walks in five innings in a 7-5 loss at Minute Maid Park.
In his previous two starts against Houston this season, the 31-year-old lefty had allowed one run, ten hits, and one walk in 16 innings.
This start will likely be an improvement upon the last one against the Astros. But expect him to find strikeouts hard to come by.
Since failing to tally more than five strikeouts in his first five starts this season, Perez has 6+ Ks in 13 of 20 starts, including seven times in nine home starts and seven times in his last eight starts overall.
But his high against Houston this season is just five, and his most recent start is the lone one in his last eight in which he did not pick up at least six Ks.
Is Another Rough Day at the Plate in Store for the Rangers?
Javier’s most recent appearance was in relief of Lance McCullers Jr. against the Orioles on Friday, and he took the loss by allowing the game’s only two runs in the sixth inning.
If he resumes the form he was in as a starter, he might meet a different fate in this matchup. The operative word is might, however, as the Astros have won in just two of his last eight starts overall and are 3-6 in his nine road starts this season.
But the blame for their 1-3 record in his starts this month can’t be placed at his feet. Javier’s first four August outings were all as a starter, and he went four for four with quality starts. In 24 innings, he allowed 13 hits, four runs, five walks and struck out 25.
This season, the 25-year-old righty has made three starts against the Rangers and has picked up one win, one loss, and one no-decision (in an Astros loss).
In those three starts, he has allowed just four runs in six innings, but Houston has managed only seven runs total across the three games.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Prediction and Best Bets Astros vs. Rangers Prediction: Astros to win Astros vs. Rangers Best Bets: Astros ML (Best Value: -142 at FanDuel) & Rangers team total under 3.5 runs (Best Value: -136 at BetRivers)
There’s a good chance we see another close, low-scoring game in Arlington, and such games favor Houston. They are 37-22 (.627) this season in one and two-run games, while Texas is 26-39 (.400) in such games.
The Astros are now 11-4 in their season series with the Rangers, and they have held their Lone Star State rivals to three or fewer runs in 10 of those 11 wins. In fact, the losing team has been held to three or fewer runs in 13 of this season’s 15 matchups.
Look for Houston’s dominance and that scoring trend to continue this afternoon. Also, while strikeout props aren’t up yet, the under will be the way to go with Perez’s K prop, given his numbers against a team averaging just 7.4 strikeouts per game.
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