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Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Betting Preview

The Texas Rangers (49-32, 26-15 home) host the Houston Astros (44-37, 22-18 away) over the weekend to close out the month of June and turn the page to July. Game 1 of the three-game set begins on Friday night. Texas took two of three from Houston in mid-April.

The first pitch of Friday’s series opener is at 8:05 p.m. EST at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Texas is the betting favorite (-165 moneyline), and the over/under total is nine runs.

What to Know – Houston Astros

After opening with a loss in St. Louis, the Astros pounded out 24 runs over the final two games to take a pair from the Cardinals and head into the weekend riding positive momentum. Houston is in second place in the AL West, trailing the Rangers by five games.

Right-hander Ronel Blanco (1-0, 4.63 ERA, 1.51 WHIP) gets the nod on the hill for Houston. Blanco began the season in the bullpen but has transitioned into a starting role this month. The 29-year-old has made 13 appearances this season, four starts, logging 35.0 innings and allowing 18 earned runs, 35 hits, 18 walks, with 37 strikeouts.

Offensively, the Astros are 17th in the MLB sporting a .249 team batting average and scoring 4.65 runs per contest. Houston’s pitching staff leads the majors with a 3.58 team earned run average.

Alex Bregman has heated up over the last week, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in nine RBIs in five contests. Kyle Tucker is also finding his groove at the dish, riding a six-game hitting streak into Friday’s bout.

What to Know – Texas Rangers

The Rangers have a great opportunity over the weekend to separate themselves from the Astros even further as the first half of the season comes to a close. Texas has won two of their last six games heading into Friday’s matchup.

The expected starter for the Rangers is right-hander Jon Gray (6-3, 2.89 ERA, 1.05 WHIP). Gray won five consecutive starts in May and early June but has since dropped two of his last three outings. The 31-year-old has pitched 81.0 innings, surrendering 26 earned runs behind 60 hits and 25 walks while striking out 69 batters.

Texas leads the league in team batting average, hitting .274 as a squad and averaging 5.9 runs per game. The Rangers’ pitching staff is ninth amongst league opponents with a 3.82 team ERA.

Adolis Garcia leads the majors with 66 RBIs thanks to 20 home runs on the season. Marcus Semien and Jonah Heim are next on the team with 55 RBIs apiece. Rookie Josh Jung, who earned a spot in the All-Star Game next week, has added 16 homers and 48 RBIs through the first half of his first year in the big leagues.

The Pick is In

Two heavyweights going toe-to-toe this weekend should bring us some early Fourth of July fireworks. All three games will be a battle, but Houston has found something offensively, and we are riding the Astros winning streak in Game 1.

The Pick: Houston Astros ML

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