September 26 Odds: With Hamels Chucking, Rangers the Play vs. Astros

Cole Hamels

Willie Bee

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 12:41 PM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2017 12:41 PM GMT

Monday’s series opener was all Houston as the Astros rolled to an easy win over the Rangers, who are once again underdogs on the MLB odds despite having Cole Hamels on the mound Tuesday.

MLB Season Record: 81-82-4 (+2.64)

Bad blood has always existed between Houston and the Dallas area, and naturally it spills over to their sports teams. Some of that blood was brought to at least a simmer in the Astros’ 11-2 laugher in Monday’s series opener against the Rangers, and it could boil over when the set continues tonight at the House That Dubya Built in Arlington.

Having already secured the Silver Boot that goes to the winner of each season series, Houston now looks to officially eliminate their northern rivals from the postseason with a victory this evening. The Astros send Dallas Keuchel (13-5, 2.96) to the bump against Cole Hamels (11-4, 3.80); BetOnline is carrying Houston for -130 and 9½ is the total.

 

Astros Winless In Last 5 Tries Vs. Hamels

Most of the drama last night was between Houston pitcher Collin McHugh and Texas outfielder Carlos Gomez, the latter taking exception to being quick-pitched by the former in the second inning. Carrying even fatter MLB odds than Keuchel is tonight, McHugh waved it off as just Carlos being Carlos, but both dugouts were warned. Why there were no ejections when Jose Leclerc hit Astros 2B Jose Altuve later in the game, well, that’s anyone’s guess.

This will be Keuchel’s last start before the playoffs and fourth of 2017 against the Rangers. Houston has won two of the previous three, both of those wins coming in Arlington, where the former Arkansas standout has allowed just one run in 12.2 innings. Hamels has faced Houston five times since coming to Texas, and they’ve all turned into losses for the Astros while the lanky Californian pitched to a 1.77 ERA in 35+ innings.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Carlos Torres, the least experienced member of Dana DeMuth’s crew, will call balls and strikes. We’ll have to see if DeMuth possibly has a sit-down with the two managers before the first pitch, but expect anything remotely construed as an attempt to hit a batter to lead to a quick warning if not an ejection. Torres has a slight tendency to the ‘under’ (12-15 O/U) with home underdogs winning three out of seven times.

The weatherman is calling for cloudy skies, temps in the mid-80s and a light easterly breeze (in from right) for the first pitch. Totals here are 2-3-2 O/U/P this season, but have historically leaned slightly to the ‘over’ in this rivalry. My heart will be with the Astros while watching the game, but my free baseball pick will be on Hamels to continue his dominance against Houston.

Free MLB Pick: Rangers +123Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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