Doug Fister (10-7, 3.56 ERA) and the Houston Astros (57-52) go up against Lucas Harrell (3-2, 3.57 ERA) and the Texas Rangers (63-47) in the second of a three-game division series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 5-0, and Houston leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 6 and will air on RTSW and FSSW.
In his most recent outing, Fister pitched 6.0 innings, giving up zero runs, striking out eight and walking one in a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays. Jose Altuve (.357, 80 Rs, 19 HRs, 66 RBIs, 25 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run and two RBIs. The Rangers were victorious over the Royals 5-3 the last time Harrell pitched. He went 6.0 innings, allowing three runs, striking out two and walking three. Carlos Beltran (.301, 51 Rs, 23 HRs, 66 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Houston, a -145 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Texas. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at eight runs. The Astros are 40-39 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -916. Over the last 10 games, they have performed poorly when playing as the favorite (2-6). The Astros will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In the last 10 games, Houston has only averaged 2.1 runs per game compared to the 4.4 it's averaged on the season. The Astros are a nightmare on the bases for opponents with 79 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. The Houston pitching staff has been dominant, only giving up 3.4 runs per home game, good for best in the AL. The Astros don't give up many walks to opposing batters, ranking third in the AL with only 2.7 walks allowed per game. They have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, leading the AL with 8.7 strikeouts per game.
Moving on to the away team, the Rangers come into this game with a win percentage of .552 when playing as the underdog (37-30) and an overall money line of +2,241. Against divisional foes, they are 27-18 SU and have played well as the underdog with an 18-11 record. Texas's pitching staff and defense as a whole have been firing on all cylinders so far, ranking fifth in the AL with only four runs allowed per road game. They also average just 8.4 hits allowed per road game, fifth-best in the AL.
The Rangers had the upper hand against the Astros in their previous 11 games this season, earning a 9-2 record. The Astros will take on a right-hander (Harrell) in this game and have a 42-32 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Rangers will be the right-hander Fister. They sport a 48-32 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
The Astros are 28-21 against their divisional rivals, while the Rangers are 27-19 against their division.
When leading after seven innings, Texas is 28-21, while Houston is 28-22.
The Rangers didn't score any runs in their last game. The Astros have a 5-0 record when they don't allow any runs.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rangers are 41-9. The Astros have a 43-5 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 16th in runs, Houston has earned 478 this season. Texas ranks ninth with 513 runs.
Ranking 27th, Texas is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 281 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at fourth with 391.
The Astros are 48-32 when they hit at least one home run. The Rangers perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 53-32 record.