Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Pick 7/11/19
Houston Astros (57-33) vs. Texas Rangers (48-42), 7/11/19
Time: 8:05 pm ET Thursday, July 11
Where: Globe Life Park, Arlington, TX
Listed Pitchers: Framber Valdez (3-4, 4.57 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) vs. Lance Lynn (11-4, 3.91, 1.22)
Moneyline: Astros -140/Rangers +130 (BetNow)
The AL West-leading Astros and the rival Rangers open a four-game Lone Star showdown series Thursday night in Arlington. Houston owns a big lead in the divisional race, but Texas is also right in the thick of the AL wild-card race. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?
MLB Betting Odds
Thursday’s MLB betting odds opened Houston at around -115 over Texas, with an over/under of 11 runs. Early betting action then steamed the Astros to -140 and bumped that total to 11.5.
Houston could also be found getting around +105 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Astros vs. Rangers Set-Up
Houston took two of three games from the Angels just before the All-Star break. Just before that the Astros swept two games from Colorado, and just before that they swept three games from Seattle. So Houston is 7-1 over its last eight games, heading into the “second half” of this MLB season.
Texas, meanwhile, lost two of three games at Minnesota just before the All-Star break. Just before that the Rangers lost two of three to the Angels, and just before that they lost two of three to Tampa Bay. So Texas is 2-6 over its last eight games.
At 57-33 overall the Astros lead the AL West by 7.5 games over second-place Oakland and by nine games over the 48-42 Rangers.
Houston is also just one game back of the Yankees in the battle for the best record in the American League.
The Rangers are also just three games behind Cleveland in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
The Astros lead the season series with Texas six games to four.
Thursday’s Starting Arms
Lynn is 11/18 on quality starts this season and two for his last two. Last Thursday he held the Angels to two runs on nine hits and zero walks through seven innings of a 9-3 Rangers win. And just before that he tossed eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball against Tampa Bay, with 10 strikeouts against only one walk.
Texas is 12-6 with Lynn this season and 4-0 over his last four starts.
Over his last two starts against the Astros, one last year for Minnesota and one back in May of this season, Lynn allowed three runs and nine hits, including three home runs, through 12 innings, with 17 whiffs. Thanks to zero run support from his offenses those days his teams lost both those games.
Lefty Valdez is 2/4 on quality starts this season, to go along with 14 appearances in relief. Most recently he was pitching out of the bullpen, and poorly, necessitating a trip to the Minors. But he’s back with the Big Club to start this game.
Over his last two appearances with the Astros, back on June 20 and 26, Valdez gave up 11 runs and 12 hits, including three home runs, over 6 1/3 innings. But he went down to Triple-A Round Rock and performed well in five short appearances.
Over three appearances against Texas, this season Valdez allowed three runs and five hits through 5 1/3 innings.
Thursday’s Batting Splits
Houston is batting .265/.336/.461 against right-handed pitching this season.
Texas is batting .232/.305/.407 against left-handed pitching this season.
The Astros bullpen owns a 3.88 ERA this season and a 1.20 WHIP while allowing a .688 OPS. Numbers like those help this unit rank among the top handful of bullpens in MLB at the moment.
The Rangers pen owns a 4.73 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP while allowing an .803 OPS.
- Unders are 47-38 in Astros games this season.
- Unders are 46-42 in Rangers games this season.
- Unders are 25-21 in games played at Globe Life Park this season.
- Totals are split 5-5 in Astros-Rangers games this season, 3-3 in Arlington.
- Unders are 11-7 with Lynn this season.
Free MLB Pick
Texas and Lynn own the advantage in the pitching match-up, but Houston holds edges with the sticks and in the bullpen. So while we don’t like going along with the betting flow, we are taking the Astros for our free MLB pick for Thursday.
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