MLB Picks: Could Rangers Go For A Third Win Tonight Against Astros?

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, April 21, 2016 3:58 PM GMT

The Astros and the Rangers complete their 3-game early week set this Thursday night. Texas has won the first 2 matchups, could they go for a third? MLB pick here.

Houston Astros (Keuchel) (-160) vs. Texas Rangers (Griffin)
As defending division champs, the Rangers have a 4-game lead on the Astros who are just 2-6 on the road, following a record of 33-48 away last year.  

Two questions emerge for the Astros. The first is “FAUX OR FO’REAL”? In the previous 3 seasons, the Astros’ win totals zoomed from 51 to 70 to 86. Projected to win 88 games this season, they have slumped to a 5-10 start and they continue to have problems on the road. That brings us to issue number 2, where ace starter and tonight’s choice, Keuchel, has one of the biggest home/road dichotomies in MLB.  

In the comfy confines of his home Minute Maid Park, Keuchel is 18-0 with a 1.46 ERA in his last 23 starts. Those home/road splits have continued this year, where in his last 2 starts, he pitched a 1-0 home win vs. Detroit but lost 3-2 to Milwaukee when he allowed 3 runs, 6 hits and 6 walks in just 5 2/3 IP. That strongly implies, he will do little better at Global Life tonight, where in 6 starts, he is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA.   

The Texas Rangers have again been lighting up the scoreboard by scoring 5 or more runs in 6 of their previous 8 games. There is little reason to believe they won’t do it again tonight against a pitcher they have owned and on a field where they have extraordinary strong history.  

Tonight’s starter, Griffin, is 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA for the year. Griffin is looking for a bounce back season, after arm injuries forced him to miss the previous 2 campaigns. He was good enough to beat the Angels in his first start of the year, before struggling a bit in a 4-2 loss to Seattle in which he worked 5 IP, allowing 1 earned run but 4 walks. In 4 outings vs. Houston, Griffin is 3-0, but sports a 4.88 ERA. 

 

Betting Analysis
The bottom line is that we have an incredible value price with a favorable home/road dichotomy, both in terms of recent series history where the Rangers have won 9 straight and in the performance of opposing starter Keuchel. But, the PERCEPTION/REALITY differential of Keuchel’s dominating form at home saddles him with unrealistic prices on the road. As a result, we take advantage with this value laden home underdog. I invite you to put the MLB odds in your favor and join me in my MLB pick on the Texas Rangers tonight.

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Free MLB Pick: Rangers +150
Best Line Offered: at Bovada