The Houston Astros aim to even the ALCS against the Texas Rangers with a second straight road win as they enter Game 4 down 2-1, and we make our best Astros vs. Rangers predictions based on the best MLB odds.
The Houston Astros were one of three teams to win 51-plus road games in the regular season, and they saved their biggest road win for Wednesday, holding on for an 8-5 victory over the Texas Rangers. Astros righty Cristian Javier led the way with a 5 2/3-inning, two-hit performance, and he now has allowed just three hits in his last four postseason starts dating back to the 2022 ALCS.
Houston’s win denied Texas from tying four other teams for the longest playoff winning streak (eight games) in a single postseason. But it's still the Rangers who're being given the lower World Series odds entering Game 4.
Here is our best Astros vs. Rangers prediction for Game 4 of the ALCS (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Astros ML (+102 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Anyone who doubted the Astros entering Game 3 after they fell into a 0-2 hole was likely doing so based on the lack of offensive production outside of Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez entered Game 3 batting .391 in the postseason while the rest of the team was batting .211, and his six home runs were tied for the most through the first six playoff games.
However, a rusty Max Scherzer (he hadn't pitched in over a month) was just what Houston needed to wake up its supporting cast, as was a trip to Globe Life Field, which the Astros have turned into more of a home-field advantage of late.
The Astros have won seven of their eight games at Globe Life Field and continued the success of their three-game road sweep of the Rangers from Sept. 4 to 6, when they outscored Texas 39-10, out-homered the Rangers 16-6, and out-hit them 50-22.
Leadoff man Jose Altuve entered Game 3 slashing .160/.192/.280 in the postseason. His struggles were a microcosm of why Houston was struggling offensively as a whole, but he responded with his 25th postseason home run (second only behind Manny Ramirez - 29), and the move to Globe Life Field could be exactly what he needed to get going offensively. In the regular season this year, Altuve slashed .313/.371/.969 in seven road games against the Rangers, hitting seven home runs in the process.
Houston has the pitching edge in this matchup with Jose Urquidy opposing Andrew Heaney, who has not pitched since the ALDS Game 1. Heaney’s 4.51 xERA was one of the worst among the Rangers rotation, and his 10.2% barrel rate, 38.6% hard-hit rate, and 9.6% walk rate from the regular season are troubling when facing an Astros lineup that was the AL’s best in wRC+ (122) and OPS (.809), and second in BB/K rate (0.48) against left-handed pitching.
This is a four-star play, as Urquidy should be much more in rhythm after throwing more recently in the ALDS (5 2/3 innings, three hits, two earned runs). He's backed by an Astros bullpen that entered Game 3 with a 1.27 ERA and .130 OBA, and it is 8-for-8 in save opportunities and held opponents to 4-for-47 with runners in scoring position over the last two postseasons.
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Astros vs. Rangers best odds
Based on Houston’s road success against Texas this year and with how much success it had in Game 3, there is a strong chance the odds move in its favor before first pitch, so we are taking advantage of whatever plus-money odds we can get early before that value disappears.
The only moneyline movement thus far has gone in both directions. Caesars moved from Texas -115 to -120 overnight last night, while bet365 had its Rangers moneylines bet down from -125 to -120 in just one hour early Thursday morning. Houston is 15-1 SU in its last 16 games as road underdogs.
All of our best sportsbooks are in unison with an O/U of 9.5 runs. FanDuel is the only shop juiced to the Over (-114), while bettors will have to pay up for the Under at DraftKings (-112), Caesars (-115), and bet365 (-115).
The Over has cashed in each of the last five meetings at Globe Life Field between the Astros and Rangers, including Wednesday night’s 13-run affair that exceeded the projected total of nine.
- When: Thursday, Oct. 19 at 8:03 p.m. ET
- Where: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
- How to watch: FS1
- Weather: Indoors
Astros-Rangers pick made 10/19/2023 at 6:41 a.m. ET.
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