Even though there are two solid starters on the mound today in Texas this should be a high scoring affair & I suggest adding over the total to one of your MLB picks.
Odds makers came out with a pretty high total of eight for this matchup and it is at regular odds across the MLB board. You can still get pretty decent odds backing over the total at Pinnacle -105. Again, at first glance it does seem like a large total with these two big name pictures on the mound, but they both are capable of giving up enough runs for this game to go over.
Scott Kazmir takes the mound for the Astros and comes in with a 2.63 ERA, 1.14 whip, 145 strikeouts, and a 7-10 record. He has been solid for the most part with the Astros but since early August we have also seen his ERA climb. In his last three outings he's allowed nine earned runs total in 17 innings. On the year if a team is going to get to him the best time is when he travels where he has a 3.48 ERA and batters hitting over .250 against him. Not horrible numbers because he is a solid major league pitcher, but in his last three times on the road he has taken the loss. Also, the Rangers will get a good second look at him after pitching against them in Arlington back in early August where he was solid allowing only one earned run in five innings.
Houston ranks ninth in runs scored per game at 4.37, 10th in OPS at .733, and surprisingly 29th in batting average hitting only .244 as a team. Their numbers are much better at home than they are on the road but this is a solid lineup up and down. They can score runs in bunches and they have a solid .743 OPS versus left-handers, as well as leading the American League in home runs versus left-handers at 61 this season.
Cole Hamels takes the mound for the Rangers and comes in with a 3.76 ERA, 1.22 whip, 181 strikeouts, and a 9-8 record on the season. In his last three games he is pitched okay allowing eight earned runs in 22 innings. I really like Hamels but I'm siding with the odds makers on this one as far as going over the total because he goe is usually good to give up at least a few runs.
Texas ranks 11th in runs scored per game at 4.33, 15th in OPS at .721, and 17th in batting average hitting .253 as a team. All their important statistics go up in Arlington and they are very good hitting team at home. They go from hitting .236 on the road to .271 at home and their OPS jumps from .680 to .769. I expect them to have a lot of quality at-bats today and get on the board early against Kazmir.
This is an interesting matchup with an interesting line. I thought the number at first glance was a little bit high for this matchup, but when I dug into the numbers a little bit deeper I think odds makers are well aware that this game could get a lot higher in run production than the public may realize. Expect both teams to put up some good numbers today to get is over this total, and I and I will be adding it to one of my MLB picks.