The state of Texas features the Houston Astros (87-48, 44-20 home) and Texas Rangers (58-76, 30-38 away) in an in-state series with Game 2 on Tuesday night. Houston blanked the Rangers in the series opener, 1-0, and own a 13-4 head-to-head record against Texas this season.
Tuesday’s first pitch is at 8:10 p.m. EST inside Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Houston is a heavy betting favorite at -278, and the over-under total is 7.5 runs.
What to Know – Texas Rangers
Texas is muddling through a nine-game losing streak and looking for any way to get back into the win column. The Rangers have dropped to fourth place in the American League West, 28.5 games back of the leading Astros.
Looking to get the visitors back in that win column will be starting pitcher Glenn Otto (6-8, 4.82 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). The right-hander was sharp in the month of August and followed that up with a no-decision in his first start in September. The 26-year-old native of Texas has tossed 104.2 innings, allowing 56 earned runs on 89 hits and 55 walks while striking out 82 batters.
The Rangers failed to score any runs last night, but that hasn’t been the case this season, with four bats in the lineup already at 20 home runs or more. Corey Seager was a major addition to the team in the offseason, and he isn’t disappointing with a team-high 29 home runs. Adolis Garcia leads the Rangers with 84 runs driven in.
Texas ranks 15th in the majors batting .243 as a team and scoring 4.5 runs per game. The Rangers’ pitching staff sit 21st in the MLB, featuring a 4.16 team earned run average.
What to Know – Houston Astros
Houston has won six of its last seven contests and built a comfy 11-game advantage in the AL West. The Astros have the best record in the AL and the second-best record in baseball this season.
The left-handed Framber Valdez (14-4, 2.63 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) toes the rubber for the Astros in Game 2. Valdez hasn’t lost since early July, winning seven of his last nine starts, including all five in August. The 28-year-old has pitched 164.0 innings, surrendering 48 earned runs on 127 hits and 56 walks with 150 strikeouts.
Yordan Alvarez has blasted a team-high 31 home runs with 82 RBIs. The 25-year-old Kyle Tucker leads the Astros with 86 RBIs, while Alex Bregman adds 20 home runs and 78 RBIs.
The Astros average 4.5 runs per contest behind an offense that is 13th in the league hitting .246 as a team. The pitching staff for Houston is the best in the AL, sporting a 2.96 team ERA.
The Pick is In
Valdez is going to lose another baseball game on the mound at some point, but it won’t be Tuesday night. The Astros lineup is more-talented and the pitching staff stronger than anything the Rangers have. Houston opens this one up early and runs away with it.
The Pick: Houston Astros -1.5