Rangers vs. Astros: Never Easy To Fade The Favorite, But This Time Favoritism Is Undeserved...

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, August 5, 2016 5:04 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 5:04 PM UTC

I normally reserve my historical analysis for games in football and basketball, where it has more relevance than the strong emphasis on current form for MLB selections. Today, the Texas Rangers travel to Houston for this 3-game weekend set against their closest pursuer for division supremacy. 

Texas Rangers (Perez) vs. Houston Astros (Keuchel) 

Not only do we have a strong historical reasoning for the game, but it combines with a current form to give us a big dog play that we simply cannot pass up! 

The Houston Astros, after a 20-32 start, clawed their way back into divisional contention with a 34-12 burst. But, the combination of injuries and poor pitching has left them on a 2-8 slide, as they enter this 3-game set in the role of hunter, trailing Texas by 6 ½ games for the AL West lead. Texas had their own 4-15 dip, when a trio of starters, Darvish, Lewis and Holland, all ended up on the DL at the same time. The Rangers have righted the ship with a 7-4 run. With the addition of Beltran and Lucroy, they have strengthened their offense. The imminent return of Holland and Lewis (Darvish is already back in the rotation) makes this team a legitimate threat for an appearance in the World Series. At 63-46, they maintain the best record in the American League.  

Returning to the historical aspects of this selection, we find that Texas has taken 17 of 20 from Houston, including 9-1 already this year. Today’s Texas starter, Perez, has an extraordinarily strong history against the Astros. In 7 appearances, Perez is 5-2 with a 1.88 ERA.

Such cannot be said of Astro’s starter, Keuchel, who is far from the dominant presence of his CY Young campaign. For the year, Keuchel is 6-11 with a 4.86 ERA. He was just ripped for 7 runs in 5 IP vs. Detroit. But, his worst starts this season have come against the Texas Rangers. In going 0-3 against his division rival, Keuchel has a 7.91 ERA.

This is a huge favorite price on a team and a pitcher who are currently undeserving of such favoritism. Texas has played the better ball this year, is in much better current form than a Houston offense that has plated just 7 runs in their last 6 starts and has a dominant historical edge, both from a team vs. team perspective, as well as on the mound. In what can only be termed our History Book Underdog Play of the day we bring back a huge price with this Ranger’s victory. I invite you to put the MLB odds in your favor and join me in my MLB pick on the Texas Rangers tonight.  


Free MLB Pick: Rangers +159
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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