Bet With Confidence On Ranger's Moneyline vs. Astros For Tonight's MLB Pick

Jason Lake

Friday, August 5, 2016 2:57 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 2:57 PM UTC

The Texas Rangers may have “won” the trade deadline, but the Houston Astros are the big favorites on the MLB odds board for Friday's matchup at Minute Maid Park.

Texas Rangers vs Houston Astros  
Okay, now maybe we need to take the Texas Rangers a bit more seriously. They were robbing the rest of the major leagues, rocketing to the top of the standings despite a run differential barely above zero. Then the Rangers went and picked up catcher Jonathan Lucroy (.834 OPS) and DH Carlos Beltran (.884 OPS) at the trade deadline. Nice bit of work there.

The Houston Astros didn't fare quite as well. Rather than add to their roster for the playoff drive, the Astros sent pitcher Scott Feldman (4.23 FIP) to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor-league prospect Guadalupe Chavez. Consternation and uproar! But Houston still has some live arms in the cupboard, including the man who'll start Friday night (8:10 p.m. ET) when the Rangers visit the Juice Box as +160 underdogs on the MLB odds board.


Dallas Car
Arms don't get much livelier than Dallas Keuchel (3.98 FIP), but this has been a disappointing season for the reigning AL Cy Young winner. Keuchel has seen his velocity drop on most of his pitches, and the regression monsters are eating him alive after last year's .269 BABIP. Houston (56-52, –9.14 units) is 9-13 with Keuchel on the mound for a loss of 10.23 units. Only three pitchers in the majors have done worse: Ervin Santana, Robbie Ray, and Chris Archer.

We might want to give Martin Perez (4.75 FIP) a spin with our MLB picks instead. He's performed worse than Keuchel this year, but without all that chalk on his shoulders, Texas (63-46, +22.64 units) is up 2.79 units behind Perez on a team record of 12-10. Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight think the Rangers are a bargain in this matchup, projecting them to win 42 percent of the time, or +138 according to our SBR Betting Odds Converter. We'll buy that for a dollar.

Fantasy Corner
It's not like Keuchel has dominated the Rangers over the years, either. Current Texas hitters have a combined .705 OPS against the big lefty – not stellar, but hardly cause for concern. Anyway, let's not worry about that for now. Just go out and get OF Shin-Soo Choo (.844 OPS) if you can. He just came off the DL, so he's only owned in 37.6 percent of fantasy leagues at press time. Yes, Choo's got a .671 career OPS versus Keuchel. Just stash him for later, then.

Meanwhile, we'll recommend the Rangers for Friday's matchup. With a caveat: They're still not all that. Lucroy (.337 BABIP) and Beltran (.315 BABIP) have both enjoyed some good fortune at the plate this year. Texas might end up being overvalued in single-game situations going forward, but not this single game. Bet with confidence, and may the sphere be with you.

Free MLB Pick: Rangers +162
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes
Record: 19-18 ML, 7-3-1 Totals (+5.97 units)

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