Astros vs. Rangers Prediction
Are the Texas Rangers a good underdog play versus the defending World Series champion Houston Astros today at 3:35 p.m. ET?
(917) Houston Astros at (918) Texas Rangers
Thursday, March 29, 2018
TV: ESPN, 3:35 p.m. ET
Houston opened as -165 money line favorites but the line jumped to -170, while Texas went from +140 up to +153. The total, meanwhile, hit the board at 9 but was bet up to 9.5 at the majority of online sportsbooks.
PUBLIC BETTING INFORMATION
As of this writing, 71% of betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Astros to win on the money line. Meanwhile, 59% of the betting tickets are on the under.
I love looking for underdog plays and the Astros are certainly overvalued coming off their championship run a year ago. That said, Houston is also the best team in baseball and I like them in this pitching matchup. Verlander will throw strikes and attack hitters, which is beneficial against a Texas lineup that had a combined 24.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching last season. On the other side, Hamels posted a 4.20 ERA last season and was probably fortunate that it was even that low. He allowed a 38% hard contact rate and a 10% walk rate. The Astros are right-handed heavy, which is a minus for Hamels, and they rocked left-handed pitching a year ago.
THURSDAY MLB PREDICTION: HOUSTON ASTROS -170