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Max Scherzer of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Houston Astros during the second inning at Globe Life Field, and we offer our top World Series Game 3 prediction based on the best MLB odds.
Max Scherzer of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Houston Astros during the second inning at Globe Life Field. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images via AFP.

The Texas Rangers are undefeated in the postseason prior to Wednesday’s ALCS Game 3 against the Houston Astros, and we make our top Astros-Rangers predictions based on the best MLB odds.

The Texas Rangers hold a 2-0 lead in the ALCS over the Houston Astros after winning the first two games at Minute Maid Park by a combined 7-4 score. Per MLB’s Sarah Langs, teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series have won those series 84% of the time (75-14), while teams that have won the first two games on the road in a best-of-seven have won 90% of the time (26-3).

DraftKings currently has the Rangers’ odds at -450 to win this series.

Here is our best Astros vs. Rangers prediction for Game 3 of the ALCS (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Astros vs. Rangers prediction: ALCS Game 3

Over 9 (-110 via DraftKings, BetMGM, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

The Rangers have been steamrolling opponents during their current seven-game postseason winning streak, as their +23 run differential is tied with this year’s Philadelphia Phillies squad for the sixth-best through the first seven games of a single postseason in MLB history.

Houston will need to rely on the experience of reaching seven consecutive Championship Series to wake its offense up and dig it out of a 0-2 hole. And even though Rangers righty Max Scherzer is a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer, perhaps nothing can ruin Texas’ momentum more than inserting a starting pitcher who last pitched over a month ago. 

Scherzer last took the mound on Sept. 12, as he has spent the last five weeks on the IL with a teres major strain in his right shoulder. Even though he has gone 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA for Texas since being acquired from the New York Mets, Scherzer has battled several injuries this year, which raised speculation that his latest injury would be season-ending.

Scherzer threw 69 pitches in a simulated start a few days ago, but asking him to quiet an Astros offense that posted a 122 wRC+, .805 OPS, 9.1% walk rate, and 18.5% strikeout rate from Aug. 1 to the end of the regular season is a tall task.

When asked how long he could pitch in Game 3, Scherzer told reporters, "I can't answer that question. It's just going to be play it by ear."

Opposing Scherzer is Cristian Javier, who has not allowed a run in his previous 11 innings across one postseason start and his last regular-season start. However, Javier has just a 26.1% ground ball rate (which ranks in the first percentile), and though he has gone 21 consecutive innings without allowing a home run, the Rangers hit an AL-best 143 home runs at home this season — 19 more than any other team.

We expect some regression from Javier, whose .443 xSLG this year was by far the worst of his career, while Texas slugged an MLB-best .495 at home. This is a three-star play, as Javier walked five batters in his lone postseason start this season against the Minnesota Twins, and Texas had the second-highest walk rate of any AL team.

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Astros vs. Rangers best odds

DraftKingsBetMGMbet365 (-110)

DraftKings FanDuel BetMGM Caesars bet365
9 9.5 9 9 9
Over (-110) Over (+100) Over (-110) Over (-115) Over (-110)

FanDuel is the lone sportsbook that offers a total as high as 9.5 runs, as our four other best sports betting sites are all in unison with an O/U of 9.0. Three of those four (DraftKings, BetMGM, bet365) charge the standard -110 juice on either side of the total, and those are our go-to shops, as we are avoiding Caesars’ slightly higher price of -115.

Astros vs. Rangers odds

Astros vs. Rangers odds analysis

None of the best sports betting apps have wavered off the original number in terms of the total, but there have been odds shifts at various shops. FanDuel dropped from -115 to back the Over of 9.5 down to +100, while bet365 opened at -120 for the Over of 9.0 and has since lowered to -110. Early wagers are 3/1 in favor of the Under, despite the Over cashing in the previous four games between these AL West rivals at Globe Life Field.

While our other four best sportsbooks all have Texas as -130 moneyline favorites, FanDuel is slightly lower with a price of -126. That price at FanDuel is down from an opening number of -132, while BetMGM raised its odds from Texas -125 to -130 from Monday night into Tuesday.

Houston has won each of its last eight games as road underdogs following a loss.   

Astros vs. Rangers game info: ALCS Game 3

  • When: Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 8:03 p.m. ET
  • Where: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
  • How to watch: FS1
  • Weather: 82 degrees, 0% PoP, wind 16 mph S

Astros-Rangers pick made 10/17/2023 at 6:41 a.m. ET.

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