The Houston Astros (7-8) are on the road to open a 4-game set with the Texas Rangers (5-10) Monday. First pitch from Globe Life Field is set for 8:05 p.m. ET. Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook‘s lines around the Astros vs. Rangers nickname odds with MLB picks and predictions.
Season series: First meeting. Houston took 14 of 19 meetings with Texas in 2021.
The Astros salvaged an 8-7 extra-inning win Sunday, but still dropped their 3-game home set against the Toronto Blue Jays. Houston has lost its last 3 series against the Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels and at the Seattle Mariners.
The Rangers had a 3-game win streak snapped when they were held scoreless Sunday in a 2-0 loss at the Oakland Athletics. Texas, which picked up its first series win of the season in Oakland, was 1-5 in its first homestand this year.
Astros vs. Rangers projected starters
LHP Framber Valdez vs. RHP Dane Dunning
Framber Valdez (1-1, 4.50 ERA) makes his fourth start. He has allowed 7 ER on 12 H and 10 BB with 12 K in 14 IP.
- Got rocked for 6 ER on 8 H with 4 BB with just 3 K in 4 1/3 IP against the Los Angeles Angels in his last start Tuesday.
- Is 1-0 with 1 ER allowed in 9 2/3 IP in 2 road starts this season.
Dane Dunning (0-1, 5.68 ERA) makes his fourth start. He has allowed 8 ER on 17 H and 7 BB with 14 K in 12 2/3 IP.
- Allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 3 BB with 3 K through 4 IP in his last start at the Seattle Mariners Wednesday.
- Was 0-1 with 5 ER on 11 H and 3 BB with 7 K in 6 IP in 1 start and 1 relief appearance versus the Astros in 2021.
Astros vs. Rangers odds and lines
- Money line (ML): Astros -140 (bet $140 to win $100) | Rangers +115 (bet $100 to win $115)
- Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS): Astros -1.5 (+120) | Rangers +1.5 (-145)
- Over/Under (O/U): 8.5 (O: +100 | U: -125)
Astros vs. Rangers picks and predictions
Astros 5, Rangers 3
Monday should propose a get-right spot for the Astros who have started the season rather sluggishly. The Astros have been held back by a well below-average .240 BABIP in the early going, but have the power and prowess at the plate to straighten things out.
Houston also sends the better starting pitcher to the mound and has the superior bullpen.
Catch HOUSTON (-145) before it gets bet up much further.
Run line/Against the spread
I don’t think you want to get too carried away here — Valdez was absolutely batted around last time out and Dunning has been pretty consistent in not letting things get out of hand through his first 3 starts.
Still, with plus-money value on the table and Houston pegged as the clearly better of the teams you may want to consider a partial unit play on HOUSTON -1.5 (+120).
If this came in at 7.5 I’d be much more tempted to pursue an Over wager, but 8.5 feels like a sharp number.
Valdez has the ability to toss a gem, although he ended last season on shaky ground, and the Astros’ bats have had some hard luck that may not necessarily get them over the hump. Dunning may limit things enough to require Houston to tag the bullpen for a few runs to push this over the number.
The wind will be blowing in Monday at Globe Life Field, and that’s enough for me to PASS on the total.