Rangers vs. Astros (August 9): Expect few runs in Houston with Perez, Urquidy on the hill?
After back-to-back losing weeks, this week should be a positive one for the Houston Astros with two series at home against AL West rivals. First up is a three-game set against the Texas Rangers, which starts tonight at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros opened the second half with five straight wins have gone just 6-8 since. Last week, they lost two of three at home against the Boston Red Sox then only managed a split from their four-game series at Cleveland after winning the first two games.
Tonight’s opener against their Lone Star State rivals is certainly no guaranteed win with All-Star pitcher Martin Perez on the mound for Texas. But Jose Urquidy has had the Rangers’ number, and the AL West leaders are firm favorites for good reason.
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Matchup Information and Betting Odds
- Matchup: Texas Rangers (48-60, 25-29 away, 3rd in the AL West) vs. Houston Astros (70-40, 34-17 home, 1st in the AL West)
- Venue & Location: Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas)
- Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2022
- Game Time: 8:10 p.m. Eastern Time (7:10 p.m. local time)
Rangers vs. Astros Pitching Matchup
- Texas Rangers: Martin Perez (2022: 21 starts, 9-2, 2.47 ERA)
- Houston Astros: Jose Urquidy (2022: 20 starts, 10-4, 3.62 ERA)
Rangers vs. Astros Odds
- Texas Rangers +158
- Houston Astros -188
- Over 7.5 (-120)
- Under 7.5 (-102)
- Texas Rangers +1.5 (-130)
- Houston Astros -1.5 (+108)
Are We in for a Pitchers’ Duel at Minute Maid?
In terms of current form, there aren’t many MLB pitchers who can match the two starters for tonight’s matchup in Houston.
Perez’s breakout season hit a little speed bump before the All-Star break, but he is definitely back on track now.
In his last four starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA. In 25 innings, he has allowed four runs and 15 hits and struck out 30. He has issued 12 walks in this stretch after allowing only 26 in his first 17 starts, but when you don’t give up many hits, that minimizes the potential damage of free passes.
Perez has been especially good on the road and in night games, so the Astros will have their work cut out for them here.
Season Splits for Martin Perez
- Home (11 starts): 4-2, 2.70 ERA
- Away (10 starts): 5-0, 2.26 ERA
- Day (10 starts): 3-1, 3.62 ERA
- Night (11 starts): 6-1, 1.51 ERA
Urquidy’s numbers for the season don’t quite compare to Perez’s, but he is on an extended run of excellence.
The 27-year-old righty has had nine consecutive quality starts, and in that period, he is 5-1 with a 2.29 ERA. In 59 innings, he has allowed 15 runs (all earned), 32 hits, and 12 walks and struck out 47.
Urquidy loves pitching against the Rangers, judging by his career numbers against them.
In six starts against Texas, he is 4-0 with a 2.24 ERA, and in 39.2 career innings, he has allowed just nine hits and 25 runs and struck out 41. On May 22, he allowed one run and six hits and struck out ten, a season and career high-tying number that he matched last Wednesday against Boston (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K).
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Prediction and Picks
Rangers vs. Astros Prediction: Astros to win
The Rangers are 10-0 in Perez’s away starts, which includes a 2-0 win in Houston on May 20 in which he tossed a complete game shutout.
So, betting against him here is certainly no small thing. But Urquidy’s form matches up well with Perez’s, and as good as the 31-year-old lefty has been, beating the Astros twice at their place in one season is a tall order.
If you are backing Houston to win, as we are, the run line is the best play. The Astros are 14-6 in Urquidy’s 20 starts this season, and of those 14 wins, 12 have come by 2+ runs.
The best overall play, however, is the under. In Urquidy’s nine home starts, there have been seven or fewer combined runs seven times, including each of the last three. Also, both of Perez’s starts against the Astros this season have been low-scoring games.
FanDuel has the total at 7.5, but whether it moves to 8 there or you must look elsewhere, it’s nice to have that extra security instead of being doomed to a loss if someone pushes across an eighth run late.
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Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.