Houston may be coasting into the playoffs but Texas aren't expected to meekly roll over, say Accuscore, who recommend a bet on the home team in this AL West clash
"It will be a close match between bitter rivals. Astros have perhaps more motivation, but it's unlikely that Rangers are going down without a fight - especially at home. Starting pitchers are top-notch and will likely keep the score low, which tips the scales towards the Rangers. With the odds heavily tilted towards the Astros, we recommend you take the value on Texas!"
Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers
Wednesday 27 September, 01:05 (BST)
The Astros clinched their division a long time ago, making them a certain top-three seed in the American League. They're only two wins behind the Indians and five clear of the Red Sox with just six games to go. Curiously, Houston has been better on the road than at home all season and might not want to push for the first seed after all.
Divisional rivals Texas are all but mathematically out of the playoff race, being six wins behind the last wild-card spot, occupied by Minnesota Twins, with six games to go. It's highly unlikely that Twins would lose and Rangers win all of the remaining six games - but stranger things have happened.
The rivals have faced each other already 17 times this season, with Astros winning 10. The last series played in Arlington, the Texans won two out of three. The same happened in the most recent series, hosted by Astros but played in Tropican Field, St. Petersburgh. Rivalry lives strong and Rangers love to be a thorn in the high-flying Astros' side.
After getting trashed by Astros 11-2 last night, and having pretty much nothing to play for, Rangers send out their no.1 ace Cole Hamels to start the second of the three game series. Veteran Hamels has once again been the bright spot for the Rangers, going 11-4 in 22 starts with an ERA of 3.80. The southpaw is looking to make club history with a record of 7-0 at home, tied for most wins without a loss at home. Last time facing Astros, on August 12, Hamels allowed no runs in seven innings.
Astros answer by placing their back-in-business ace Dallas Keuchel on the mound. Despite putting up some excellent numbers, Keuchel has had some command issues as of late: he has allowed nine walks in past three starts. His stats are still excellent with a record of 13-5 in 22 starts and an ERA of 2.96.
The current Betfair market heavily favors the visitors, with odds of [1.78] (56.18%) for the Astros to win. The Rangers are valued at tempting [2.22] (45.05%). According to Accuscore's simulations, the hosts are heavily undervalued and should trade at odds closer to [1.91] (52.5%).
Surprisingly perhaps, in Accuscore simulations Texas Rangers are the favorites, winning 52.5%. It is a close matchup with Astros winning 47.5%.
Value bets should be placed for the visiting Astros when the odds reach [2.11] and for the hosting Rangers with odds of [1.91] or better.
Both of the starting lefties are high-quality pitchers and likely to have a strong start. In simulations, Hamels and Keuchel are evenly matched and average six innings with 3.7 allowed runs on average. There's a slightly bigger chance of Rangers' pitchers allowing a home run, with 1.35 per game, compared to 1.15 allowed by Astros' pitchers. If Hamels and the Rangers bullpen manage to keep Astros in check and under four runs, they have more than 60% chance to win the game.
At bat, Astros' Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis are the most likely to score runs, while Rangers rely on Delino DeShields, Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo. Astros' batters overall have struggled against Hamels, with George Springer, Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran all hitting way under their average. In simulations Astros score on average 5.2 runs, while Rangers are up a notch with 5.3.
It will be a close match between bitter rivals. Astros have perhaps more motivation, but it's unlikely that Rangers are going down without a fight - especially at home. Starting pitchers are top-notch and will likely keep the score low, which tips the scales towards the Rangers. With the odds heavily tilted towards the Astros, we recommend you take the value on Texas!
For more US Sports previews head to Accuscore.com