Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Expert Pick – April 14, 2023
TEXAS RANGERS VS. HOUSTON ASTROS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – April 14, 2023 — The changes that Houston pitcher Luis Garcia made in the spring aren’t really working out very well. Garcia was one of the players most affected by the new rule changes designed to speed up the game, as his delivery came in a way that would now result in several balks.
So far, the results leave a lot to be desired. In two starts, Garcia’s been roughed up for seven runs, and the Astros dropped both games in the process. He managed to avoid a decision against Minnesota, but the offense couldn’t bail him out against the Chicago White Sox, leaving him with an 0-1 mark and an ugly ERA of 7.00.
Things could get worse before they get better against a Texas team that tends not to waste its chances. The Rangers don’t hit as well as the top American League sides, but they do tend to drive in runs when someone gets to scoring position. Texas ranks fifth in MLB with 64 RBIs, and they’ve had to score to overcome the weakness of their starting pitching. When the Rangers get the game to the bullpen, the game usually goes their way, as Texas’ bullpen ranks fifth in ERA at 2.84. But the starters have been a problem, as the team’s overall ERA is 3.95 thanks to the starters’ struggles past the first inning. If the Rangers are going to take advantage of Garcia’s issues, they have to get to him early and give Martin Perez some wiggle room.
When: Friday, April 14th at 8:10 pm EST
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Starting Pitchers: Martin Perez, TEX (1-1, 2.53 ERA, 12 K’s) vs. Luis Garcia, HOU (0-1, 7.00 ERA, 8 K’s)
Public Bets: 80% on Houston
Public Money: 63% on Houston
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 14th, 2023
Texas vs. Houston In-Season Trends
The Rangers have been either feast or famine at the plate, and usually, when it’s one for their offense, it’s the other for the defense. The OVER has cashed in five straight for Texas, as the Rangers have seen at least 10 runs score in all of those games. Strangely, not one of those games was decided by less than three runs. In fact, Texas has only had one game (Perez’s first start, a 2-1 win over Philadelphia) decided by less than two runs, making the run line appealing.
The Astros have seen plenty of runs cross the plate in Houston this season, as six of their seven home games have gone OVER. That could be a sign of a lesser pitching staff, or it could be the weakness of the opposing pitchers from the White Sox and Tigers. However, the Astros went just 3-3 in those games, so there’s reason to think it’s that Houston’s pitching just isn’t as good this season.
Garcia’s struggles don’t inspire confidence, even against a weakened Texas lineup. The Rangers will likely get opportunities to hit against Garcia, and they’ve got the better bullpen to back them up later in the game. Houston likely pushes across a couple early runs against Perez, but I’ll still take the Rangers’ bullpen to get the job done in the back half of this game.
OVER 8.5 Total Runs
Rangers ML (+140)
Nathaniel Lowe O1.5 Bases