Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.76 ERA) and Scott Kazmir (7-10, 2.63 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a four-game series between the Texas Rangers (75-67) and the Houston Astros (77-66) at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Action begins at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 14 and can be seen on FSSW and RTSW.
Hamels pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering four runs, striking out three and walking one in a 9-6 win over the Mariners. Rougned Odor (.270, 43 Rs, 13 HRs, 51 RBIs, 5 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 5 with one run, one home run, and three RBIs. Kazmir went 6.0 innings, surrendering four runs, striking out three and walking two in a 4-0 defeat to the Athletics in his last outing. George Springer (.262, 49 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 3 for 5 yesterday with one run.
Texas is a -130 favorite against Houston and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Rangers have an overall money line of +2,270 and a record as the favorite of 18-14. Within its division, Texas has a 6-6 record as favorite and a 24-34 record SU. The Rangers have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.3 runs per game.
In games where it is the underdog, Houston has a 30-29 record and an overall money line of +153. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-1 record when playing as the underdog. The Astros have a dynamic offense, ranking second in the league with 454 extra base hits. The Astros are an excellent base stealing team with 106 stolen bases, ranking third in the MLB. Houston's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 3.34 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Astros are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.18 for the season.
The Rangers lead the season series, 8-4. The Rangers have a 24-27 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Kazmir takes the mound. Hamels (LHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 26-23 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
The Rangers hold a 25-34 record this season against teams in the AL West Division. The Astros' record in these matchups is 31-29.
Texas has won 48% (30-33) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Houston has won 59% (33-23) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Astros are coming into this game after allowing zero walks during their last outing. The Rangers have a 4-4 record when opponents give up that many walks.
When they outhit their opponents, the Astros are 56-17. The Rangers have a 55-9 record when outhitting opponents.
Texas and Houston both rank in the top 10 of the league in runs. Texas sits at ninth with 622 runs this season and Houston ranks seventh with 625.
Texas and Houston both rank in the top half of the league in walks. Texas sits at 12th with 425 this season and Houston ranks 13th with 424.
When the Rangers hit at least one home run, they are 55-27, well-matched with the Astros who are 64-40 when hitting one or more homers.