The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are set to face each other on Thursday in the first game in the Major Leagues after the All-Star break. Currently, the Astros are favored according to most sportsbooks at -1.5.
Overall, Houston has the edge over the Rangers in hits, walks, and strikeouts head-to-head. The Rangers have the advantage in runs at 5.39.
The Astros have a 57-33 record while Texas comes into Thursday’s game at 48-42. As the favorite, Houston is 55-25, while Texas is 28-33 as the underdog.
Texas is 53-37 ATS while Houston is 45-45. The Rangers have managed to do well at home ATS, posting a 26-20 record. Houston is 22-21 ATS away.
Valdez tries to bounce back
Framber Valdez takes the mound with a 3-4 record and a 4.57 ERA. He has 41 strikeouts on the year.
In his last start against the Pirates on June 26, he did not fare well. He pitched three innings, giving up eight hits and six runs while striking out two. Throwing 69 pitches, he was sent back down to the minor leagues following the start.
To his credit, he has given this Texas Rangers lineup trouble. There is one hitter who has seen him well, though. Joey Gallo is that player. In two at-bats, he has two hits and four runs batted in. Overall, the Rangers have five hits in 21-bats. That equals out to a .218 batting average.
Lynn looks to keep rolling
Lance Lynn is having a great season, and he looks to continue that on Thursday. He pitched well in his last start against the Los Angeles Angels.
In seven innings pitched, he gave up nine hits and two earned runs while striking out five batters. Throwing 115 pitches, he improved to 11-4 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.91.
This is a great pitching matchup for him, as the Astros have struggled against him. They have recorded 12 hits in 59 at-bats. That equates to a dismal .203 batting average.
The one player who has had success against Lynn is Jake Marisnick. In five at-bats, he has three hits, including a home run, that equals a .600 batting average.
Another player who has had modest success against Lynn is Aledmys Diaz. In his seven at-bats, he only has one hit, but he made that hit count with two runs batted in. He has a .143 batting average.
It will be interesting to see how these two teams play after having some extended time off. The Astros look to continue their strong season, while the Rangers are looking to play the role of spoilers. This in-state rivalry is always fun.
With Lynn on the mound for the Rangers, I would figure this to be a tough challenge for the Astros. Nevertheless, their offense and the balance within the lineup should allow them to secure a victory. They should certainly provide enough run support for Valdez and get him the win. I would take the Astros at -1.5 in this one.