Houston and Texas combined to score 21 runs in a Rangers victory Monday night in Arlington; maybe that's why the total on Tuesday night's game is approaching double digits.
Astros-Rangers Tuesday Odds
As of mid-Tuesday morning the best price we could find on Houston with Dan Straily was the -103 offered at Bookmaker, while Texas and Yovani Gallardo were “getting” +100 at BetOnline. And most sportsbooks on our MLB odds board were listing a total on tonight's game of 9.5 runs, with a couple of 10's out there, too.
Texas took the opener of this series Monday night 12-9, scoring six runs in the first inning and five in the third, then hanging on from there. So the Rangers have won five of their last six games, while the loss was only Houston's second in its last seven games.
At 60-47, the Astros lead the AL West by three games over the second-place Angels, while trailing Kansas City by 3.5 games in the battle for the best record in the American League.
At 52-53, Texas trails Houston by seven games in the AL West, but only sits two games back in the battle for the second American League wild card spot.
The Rangers lead this season series six games to four, with the totals splitting 5-5.
Tuesday's Pitching Matchup
Gallardo (7-9, 3.39 ERA), by our tough accounting, is nine-for-22 on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last five. Last Thursday he gave up five runs in six innings against the Yankees, the third straight start in which he'd allowed five runs. However, prior to that Gallardo was hot, going a 10-start stretch during which he held opponents to two runs or less nine times. For the season Gallardo has allowed 122 hits through 127 innings, walked 48 and struck out 84.
Texas is 11-11 in Gallardo's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER by a 13-8 margin.
Gallardo has started twice this season against Houston, allowing seven runs and 15 hits through 9 2/3 innings; the Rangers split those two games.
Straily (0-0, 5.06 ERA) will be making his third start since joining the Astros, and his first since getting recalled from the Minors. In his season debut back on July 3 he gave up five runs – four earned – in 4 2/3 innings against Boston, while just after that he held Cleveland to two runs through six innings. He then got sent down to Fresno, where he was pretty good.
Last year, with the A's, Straily started once against Texas, allowing three runs through six innings of a 4-3 Oakland defeat.
Tuesday's Batting Splits
Houston ranks 21st this season against right-handed pitching with a .249 team batting average, and 19th with a .311 team on-base percentage.
Texas, meanwhile, ranks fifth against righties with a .264 average and third with a .329 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the place they now called Globe Life Park are 24-21 on the OVERS this season, averaging 10.0 runs per game, second-most among all ML ballparks.
Astros-Rangers Tuesday Free Picks
We'll call the pitching matchup a wash, because Gallardo has been very hittable as of late. The Rangers own an edge with the sticks, but Houston owns a solid edge in the comparison of the bullpens. And in this spot we'll go with the better bullpen. Also, we could easily see this game getting to 6-5, so we're thinking OVER.
MLB Picks: Astros -102 and OVER 9.5 runs (+110) at BetOnline