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August 5, 2016

There is one underdog pick tonight.

Take Texas Rangers (+158) on the ML against Houston Astros risking 3% to win 4.74%.
(Perez and Keuchel must start for wager to have action)

This is an interesting series between the top two teams in the AL West who are battling for the lead in the division. Despite the Rangers holding a 6.5 game lead over Houston in the standings, the oddsmakers have elected to make the Astros sizable favorites at home in this series opener. We find this strange considering the fact that Houston has been struggling, losing 3 straight and 8 of their last 10. Their offense has essentially gone cold and has been nearly non-existent recently, averaging just 2.1 games during their recent stretch.

Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers avoided a sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles yesterday afternoon, being just one of the few teams in the league to hand the O's a loss at Camden Yards this season. The Rangers have not nearly gotten the respect that they have deserved from the oddsmakers despite having won 8 of their 11 games. This is an important series for the Rangers as they try to stave off the team closest to them in the standings and that being said, we simply feel that the odds on this game are unreasonably inflated, especially since the Rangers have managed to win 9 of 10 in this series this season!

Rangers' slugger, Ian Desmond, has had success against Houston this season hitting .300 with two homeruns and nine RBI’s in ten games. The career .268 hitter is having a tremendous season, hitting .298 with 20 home runs and 63 RBI’s and is hitting an ultra-impressive .398 against left handed pitching, which could be problematic for Houston in this matchup. As a team, the Rangers are scoring an average of 4.70 runs per game ranking them 10th overall and are hitting .263 as a team.

Dallas Keuchel will toe the rubber for Houston in this contest and this Rangers' lineup is no stranger to him. They have knocked Keuchel around in all three meetings this season. In 19.3 innings this season, Keuchel has given up 32 hits and 17 earned runs against this Rangers lineup which includes 3 homeruns. Texas starter Martin Perez however has been spectacular against the Astros in his career, going 5-2 with an impressive 1.88 ERA in 7 lifetime appearances. This is a matchup that could honestly go either way as these teams are very evenly matched, however we believe the Rangers have the advantage in this opening contest and the fact that they are not only underdogs, but significant ones means the reward is certainly worth the risk to back them tonight.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Rangers are 10-3 in Perez’s last 13 starts.
  • Rangers are 30-14 in their last 44 games in Houston.
  • Astros are 0-5 in their last 5 games against a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
  • Astros are 1-4 in Keuchel’s last 5 starts against the Rangers.

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