Will Houston put an end to a modest two game losing streak behind a sizzling hot starting pitcher in Scott Kazmir? Go inside to read this insightful betting preview article for those answers and more.
Texas looks for a Three Game Sweep of Houston on Wednesday
The Rangers and Astros will partake in the finale of their three game series on Wednesday. The first pitch in Arlington tonight is slated for 8:05 PM ET. Texas has taken the first two game of this series by scores of 12-9 on Monday and 4-3 last night. The Rangers are now 6-4 this season versus their AL West in state rivals.
Recently acquired southpaw Scott Kazmir will make the start tonight for Houston. In the first two appearances for his new club, Kazmir allowed no earned runs on 6 hits while walking 4 during 14 2/3 innings pitched. As a matter of fact, Kazmir has a microscopic 0.26 ERA during his previous five starts which included three outings for Oakland. The veteran southpaw has gone 3-0 in his team starts versus Texas this year with a dominant 1.29 ERA and 0.62 WHIP. At this juncture of the season, we can certainly make a strong case for Kazmir regarding the 2015 American League Cy Young award. His win/loss record is deceiving when considering he made eighteen starts versus AL West cellar dweller Oakland. However, his 2.10 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in twenty starts this season speak volumes.
Nick Martinez gets the starting assignment for Texas on Wednesday. Martinez has been shaky over his previous four starts, posting a large 7.71 ERA and 1.71 WHIP during those outings. Martinez will be facing an Astros team tonight which has smacked an extremely impressive 152 home runs in 108 games. That’s not good news for Martinez, since he’s allowed an alarming 7 home runs in just 28.0 innings during his last four starts. This will be the first start of the season for Martinez against Houston.
Tale of the Tape
Despite losing the first two games of this series, Houston still has a 3.0 game lead over the second place Angels in the AL West standings. Heading into today, the Astros have a 93.2% probability of making the playoffs with 54 regular season games left to play. I already alluded to their 152 home runs hit this season, and that’s tops in all MLB. They certainly need to improve on the road in order to maintain their lead in the AL West. Although going a superb 38-18 (.679) at home in 2015, Houston is just 22-30 (.423) during away games.
By virtue of winning the first two games of this series, Texas has won three in a row in addition to going 6-1 in their last seven, and has narrowed its deficit to 6.0 games behind first place Houston for the division lead. They’re also just 2.0 games behind Toronto for the final American League wild card spot. The Rangers still have a lot of work to do if they hope to be part of postseason baseball. Going into today, Texas has just an 11.6% probability of making the playoffs with 56 games left to play.
Granted the Astros aren’t the same team on the road as they are at home. That being said, Texas is just 22-29 (.431) at home this season compared to a very respectable 30-24 (.556) on the road. The Rangers will also be facing a southpaw (Kazmir) this evening that’s enjoying a spectacular season. Texas has a poor .234 team batting average versus southpaw starters during 43 games, and that’s in stark contrast to their numbers versus righties. I look for Kazmir to be an integral part of preventing the Astros from being swept in this series, and continuing with his red-hot pitching tonight. My lean goes to the money line road favorite for one of my MLB picks on Wednesday. In terms of the least amount of juice having to be laid for this bet, Youwager gets my nod.
MLB Pick: Play Houston -150 on the money line at Youwager