Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers – MLB, September 26, 2020

By Admir Aljic in MLB
| September 26, 2020 1:32 am PDT

It is the battle of Texas to close out the regular season, as the Houston Astros have two more contests against the Texas Rangers. Houston (29-29) has split the first two games of the series with Texas (20-38).

Despite a relatively disappointing season for Houston, they appear to be postseason bound, as they hold a 2.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for the final playoff spot in the AL West. The Angels were still playing Friday night at the time of this writing. Texas has long been eliminated, as they have the worst record in the American League. The victory on Friday night snapped a four-game losing streak for the Rangers.

Astros vs. Rangers Odds

Astros +1.5 -130
Rangers -1.5 +110
Astros to Win -210
Rangers to Win +175
Over 9.0 -110
Under 9.0 -110

With Kyle Gibson going for Texas it is not surprising to see Houston as a prohibitive favorite. The 1.5 runs they are getting at -130 appears to be a smart wager. It is a little steep to look at -210 on the moneyline.

The over 9.0 also looks like it could be a smart wager to take a further look at. Even at -110, the struggles Gibson’s had the season could make this a smart pick.

Astros vs. Rangers Preview

Houston has not named their starter for Saturday which is probably not going to be available until after the Angels game is over. It is likely that the Astros will decide if they need to go with one of the guys from the regular rotation because they still need to clinch a playoff spot or if they can give starters an extra day or two off because they have clinched the final playoff berth. That likely means that this could be a game-time decision.

Texas goes with Gibson who has taken it on the chin this season. The right-hander is 2-6 with a 5.87 ERA in 11 starts. It has been his inconsistency that has doomed him this season, as he has had two good starts, including blanking the Astros on September 16 in a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits while striking out nine, then giving up seven runs in four innings to the Angels on September 21.

it is not surprising that Texas will finish last in the American League. A 5.11 ERA and being 29th in runs scored (210) will doom a team to the pits of the league.

The Astros are trying to get a little momentum going heading into the playoffs, but losing three of their last five while producing just 94 runs and 25 games is not helping their cause. Already Houston is facing a backlash from the public who would like to see them stumble after their cheating scandal was exposed. The question is whether they can embrace the role of villain and use it as a rallying cry or whether they will wither under that label.

Astros vs. Rangers Pick 

Even if the Astros are able to enter Saturday night’s game locked into a playoff spot, it would not be surprising to see them go all out to try to win. While the team does not want to take any unnecessary risks, they also want to gain some momentum as they will be the prohibitive underdog against whatever team they face in the first round of the playoffs.

The one wager I think is a smart one is the over 9.0. Houston has allowed 4.5 runs on average through the first two games of this series and Houston will likely score over 6 runs in this game. That makes the over seem like it is almost a given. The Houston Astros win, 8-4.

  • Over 9.0



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