The Houston Astros host the struggling Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. The Astros won the previous game 4-1. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-2, 5.79 ERA) will start for the Astros. it will be his first start since September 6 when he was out with nerve irritation. Kyle Gibson, who has an ERA of 8.10 has allowed eight home runs in five starts, will start for the Rangers.
Rangers' poor season gets worseSeason form
The Rangers have had an awful season so far. They are 17-31 for the season after they were beaten 4-1 in the previous game by Houston. They have split their last eight matches nicely: LWLWLLWW.
According to the Associated Press, OF Willie Calhoun was activated from the 10-day injured list before the game. He has been out since straining his left hamstring on Aug. 19.
Stats for the season
As is expected with a 17-31 record, the Rangers have outright struggled this season. They are ranked 29th in the MLB in all four major batting stats: runs hit (178), batting average (.218), slugging percentage (.361) and on-base percentage (.291).
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 16, 2020
Astros make steady progress towards consistencySeason form
The Astros have had a middling season so far. They have a 24-24 record, which is about a fair reflection of their performance. They will not be too happy that they aren't at least a few games over 0.500 though.
According to the Associated Press, RHP Justin Verlander (right forearm strain) will throw to hitters Wednesday for the first time since he was injured. The right-hander, who hasn't pitched since the season opener on July 24, is scheduled to throw 50-60 pitches against a handful of the team's reserve players.
What was said?
"That was a good step in the right direction," Alex Bregman said. "We need to start a good streak of playing well. We haven't had the best last week or two weeks, so hopefully we can build on this."
Struck out 7 over 7.
— Houston Astros (@astros) September 16, 2020
Trends as seen on covers.com are: Houston Astros are:
- 12-3 in their last 15 games with the total set at 11.0 or higher.
- 55-17 in their last 72 after allowing 2 runs or less in their previous game.
- 52-17 in their last 69 when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game.
Texas Rangers are:
- 7-22 in their last 29 overall.
- 7-22 in their last 29 games on grass.
- 3-10 in their last 13 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This game seems too heavily skewed in favor of Houston. The Rangers have no form, no fluency. Their batting has struggled right through. The previous game on Tuesday was no different as they managed just one run in nine innings. The Astros will be pleased with the opportunity to capitalize on their problems. Lance McCullers Jr. will put in a solid performance, albeit only over a few innings, as he returns from the injured list.
Prediction: Houston Astros
Full-Game Total Pick
The Astros haven't scored too many runs this season, which is a bit surprising. However, there are plenty of signs that suggest change is afoot. The Astros should get back in solid batting rhythm at one of the best batting ballparks in the country. The Rangers pitching has been quite atrocious right through the season, including an earned run average of 4.62.
Prediction: Over 9