Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers – MLB, September 24, 2020

By Admir Aljic in MLB
| September 24, 2020 12:56 am PDT

The Houston Astros take on the Texas Rangers on Thursday night, as these two AL West foes play their ultimate four-game regular-season series.

The Rangers have nothing to play for, sitting bottom of the American League. They will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

On the other side, the Astros will finish second in the AL West. That means Houston will almost certainly earn the No. 6 seed in the American League, as the Astros are the worst second-placed team by far.

Still, I expect to see a great opener in Arlington on Thursday. This is the divisional battle, and both teams will be keen to win, so here’s my best Astros vs. Rangers betting pick.

Astros vs. Rangers Odds

BET ODDS
Astros -1.5 +130
Rangers +1.5 -150
Astros to Win -123
Rangers to Win +113
Over 8.0 -110
Under 8.0 -110

The Rangers will start their top ace in this game, so they are listed as slight +113 underdogs, according to Bovada Sportsbook. Texas is 2-4 in its previous six meetings with Houston in 2020.

The bookies don’t expect to see a high-scoring affair, so the line is sharp at exactly eight runs.

Astros vs. Rangers Preview    

I cannot argue with bookmakers about that 8-run line because the Rangers possess the second-lowest scoring offense in baseball, while the Astros have been terrible offensively over the last few weeks.

Texas is scoring only 3.60 runs per game. The Rangers’ batting average of .213 is the second-worst in baseball, too, as well as their slugging percentage of .355.

Houston is tallying 4.65 runs per contest (15th in the majors) on a .238 batting average (19th) and .404 slugging percentage (18th). Excluding their Wednesday’s game in Seattle, the Astros have scored more than three runs only once in their previous eight outings.

The Astros will start rookie Cristian Javier, and the righty is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in nine starts and a couple of relief appearances this season. Javier tallied his fourth major league victory against Texas on September 2, allowing just a run on two hits across 6.2 frames of work.

Lance Lynn will toe the slab for the hosts, and the righty will look to close down a solid 2020 campaign. He’s 6-2 with a 2.53 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 12 starts this season, and Lynn has allowed only five earned runs on 14 hits in his previous three starts and 21 innings of work.

Lynn lost his lone start against the Astros in 2020, yielding six earned runs through six frames.

Astros vs. Rangers Betting Pick  

That poor performance against the Astros was Lance Lynn’s only bad day in the office this term. For most of the way, the righty has been terrific, and I expect to see a bounce-back display Thursday at home.

Lance is 5-5 with a 3.13 ERA in his 11 career starts and one relief outing against the Astros.

As I’ve said, both these teams have been a huge disappointment offensively thus far. Therefore, I don’t think we’ll see a firecracker, and I’m taking the under on the totals at -110 odds. The under has hit in nine of the last 11 encounters between the Astros and Rangers including the previous three.

Pick
  • Under 8.0
    -110

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