MLB Picks: Astros Aim For Sweep Over Rivals Rangers

Jay Pryce

Sunday, June 4, 2017 3:50 PM UTC

Sunday, Jun. 4, 2017 3:50 PM UTC

Brad Peacock and Martin Perez square off Sunday afternoon (3:05 p.m. ET) as the Rangers host the red-hot Astros in Arlington. Houston aims to sweep the series for the first time since July 2014. Pick and bet preview here.

Houston Astros (40-16)

The Astros made it nine wins in a row following a 6-5 victory over the Rangers Saturday night in Arlington. Houston’s 40-16 record is the best in the bigs. Red-hot hitting is powering the streak. Manager A.J. Hinch’s men are crossing the plate 8.3 times on 12.3 hits per game during the run.

Pitcher Brad Peacock will make his third start of the season for Hinch in the Rangers series finale Sunday. Peacock took over the fifth spot in the rotation from the struggling Mike Fiers last week, after a stellar spot start for the injured Dallas Keuchel in which he gave up one hit in 4.1 innings. For the year, Peacock is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 14 appearances (two starts).

Peacock emerged as an Astros regular in 2013 after coming up through the Nationals system. This will be his 47th career start for the ‘Stros. Houston is 18-28 in his previous outings. This is Peacock’s fourth appearance as a road favorite, the team going 2-1 in the prior outings. Houston has won three in a row behind Peacock once in his career.

Despite winning the last two games, backing the Astros as road chalk at Texas burns bettors often. Since 2004, the Houston is 5-14 SU when favorites in Arlington, losing 53 percent at -129 average MLB odds.

 Texas Rangers (26-30)

The Rangers are slumping, going 2-9 in their last 11 games. Poor pitching is the culprit. Texas is allowing 6.55 runs per game in this stretch, gifting five or more in all but one of the 11 contests. Last night’s defeat to Houston guarantees four consecutive series losses.

Martin Perez will attempt to right the ship Sunday. The southpaw is 2-5 with a 4.19 ERA through 11 starts. Perez is 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA in nine starts versus Houston lifetime. Hinch’s current roster is hitting .265 (39-for-147) collectively. Jose Altuve (10-for-27), Evan Gattis (7-for-16), and Jake Marisnick (5-for-15) are the only batters with 10 or more appearance to hit better than .300 against Perez. The southpaw has not allowed a single homerun to a Houston player.

Dating back to last season, the Rangers are 3-10 SU in Perez’s last 13 outings. He and the bullpen allow 5.46 runs per game in this span. Sunday will mark just the 17th time Perez commands the mound as a home underdog. The Rangers are 8-8 SU, retuning a small profit of five percent. Perez, who tossed 115 pitches two starts back (his longest since coming off Tommy John surgery in 2014), has put in a quality start in nine of the 16 outings.


Final Analysis

Houston will likely go to the bullpen early in this one with Peacock not in shape to go deep in a game. The Rangers offense should show a little life at home where it averages 5.12 runs per game. Houston’s bats are en fuego. The lineup averages 6.93 runs per game against starters with a 4.00 ERA or higher since May 1. Expect a runfest. OVER 9.5 is the MLB pick.

Free MLB Picks: Over 9.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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