What seemed to be downright impossible at the beginning of the regular season did happen, with Texas being the worst team after 115 rounds. Despite the fact that the Rangers have a formidable roster and should compete for the World Series, they are now completely out the form and have turned into the MLB’s biggest train wreck. The fact that they start as huge underdogs on the road against local rivals Houston speaks for itself, while making it an interesting proposition for punters.
Texas has an equally bad record on the road and at home, having lost 64 games already, while winning just 51. Their offensive is no longer clicking and opponents get to score plenty of runs without them, which is a deadly combination. Earlier this week, Houston was just two points above Texas, but as a result of winning back-to-back games, they have extended their advantage to four wins.
Things can turn from good to better for the hosts, as they go for a clean sweep against their local rivals and there is very little that the Rangers can do to stop them. In the previous two games, the Astros scored 12 runs which is a lot for a team that usually settles for a narrow margin victory and emphasizes the importance to defend. The visitors will be without a couple of key players, including George Springer, while counting on Dallas Keuchel as starting pitcher tonight.
He looks like an excellent choice, after winning 10 decision the season and even more impressive is the fact that he managed to keep his ERA below 3.00. Dallas received very little support from his teammates in the most recent match, but even so he avoided a loss, so he is entitled to be optimistic about this fixture. Keuchel also has an excellent home pitch record, allowing just one run per match in the last three games, all of them victories for the Astros.
On the other hand, the Rangers will need to send in Nick Martinez who is mired in a lengthy losing streak and only managed to win a single decision the season. He lost eight times and his earned run average has climbed above 5.00, with the most recent defeat coming at the hands of Chicago White Sox. He allowed the opponents to score 5 times in just as many innings, which prompted the Astros to retire him early.
Granted the odds for a home win are not spectacular, with most bookmakers offering 1.60 for Houston to prevail, it is very hard to go against the trend here. Punters could go for higher odds, by betting on the hosts to cover the -1.5 runs spread, although it is considerably safer to simply back the hosts at full stakes.