For a brief time this season, future Hall of Fame pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer were teammates on the New York Mets. On Wednesday, they meet in a huge AL West showdown as Verlander’s Astros visit Scherzer’s Rangers, who are short favorites on the MLB odds. It’s the first-ever meeting between the legends.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers | 2023 MLB Expert Analysis MyBookie Sportsbook
MLB Week 22: Monday September 4 – Sunday September 10, 2023
How to Bet Houston at Texas MLB Odds & TV Info
When: Wednesday, 8:05 PM ET
Where: Globe Life Field
Probable pitchers (away/home): Justin Verlander/Max Scherzer
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
Opening MLB Lines: Rangers -120, Astros +110 (total 8.5)
Why Bet on Houston?
The Astros could be down a key reliever as Ryne Stanek suffered a right ankle injury during his relief appearance in Monday’s game against the Rangers. He failed to record an out and surrendered one earned run on two hits prior to his departure. Stanek went down hard after covering first base, and he was eventually carted off the field. He’s posted a 1.86 ERA and 0.62 WHIP with a 9:0 K:BB over his last 10 appearances and is 3-1 with a 4.07 ERA overall this year.
It’s right-hander Justin Verlander on the bump here. Verlander (10-7) suffered the loss last Friday, surrendering six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out three as the Astros were downed 6-2 by the Yankees.
Verlander struggled with homers as he allowed a career-high four. He gave up a solo shot to DJ LeMahieu to open the game before Jasson Dominguez took him deep for a two-run blast with two outs in the first inning. He later gave two more solo shots to Giancarlo Stanton in the third and Aaron Judge in the fifth frame. Verlander had tossed 11 straight scoreless innings in his prior two starts.
“I think some of them were mistakes, some of them were good swings on good pitches,” Verlander said. “That’s the nature of it. When you have a good start, they don’t hit the bad pitches. Sometimes when you have a bad one like today, you make some good pitches and they put good swings on them, and you make bad pitches and they do damage on them. It seemed like what it was today.”
Verlander is 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts with Houston, striking out 32 and walking eight in 35 innings. He and Scherzer were originally teammates on the Detroit Tigers in 2010 through 2014 when Scherzer signed with Washington. They reunited this year on the Mets but New York dealt away both in a terrible season. Career against Texas, Verlander is 20-8 with a 2.64 ERA in 34 starts.
Houston already has clinched the 2023 Lone Star Series vs. Texas. The Astros have claimed the Silver Boot in each of the last seven seasons (2017-23), going 78-39 vs. the Rangers in that time frame. The Astros have not lost a road series this year since dropping two of three games at Dodger Stadium from June 23-25. Since that weekend, they have had 11 road series, winning nine and splitting two.
Bet Astros to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Games
Why Bet on Texas?
Third baseman Josh Jung, once the AL Rookie of the Year favorite, is hoping to take dry swings before the end of this week. Jung, who has been out since early August with a left thumb fracture, has been taking one-handed swings in the batting cage and on Monday fielded some grounders. He’s at least a couple weeks away from game action and is expected to need some rehab at-bats, so Jung isn’t going to have much runway for regular season contests.
The hope is he can be back by Sept. 21. Triple-A Round Rock’s season goes until Sept. 24 and they wrap up in Tacoma, which could be ideal for Jung to easily meet the Rangers for their final week of the season as they play their final two series of the year on the West Coast. The All-Star starter was slashing .274/.323/.489/.812 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI.
“He’s really started to pick it up,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You get to a point after surgery when you start to make all of this progress, so we have to keep a watchful eye on it. But he’s on his way.”
Reliever Josh Sborz was placed on the 15-day injured list Tuesday with a hamstring strain. Sborz took the loss Monday against Houston after he gave up five earned runs over two-thirds of an inning, which capped off a six-appearance stretch during which he surrendered 13 earned runs. The right-hander had a 3.83 ERA through 36 outings prior to that span.
It’s right-hander Max Scherzer on the mound. Scherzer was lifted a little early from his previous outing last Friday against the Twins because of some tightness in his right forearm, but he completed his between-starts bullpen session with no issues and is ready to go for Wednesday’s key divisional showdown.
Scherzer has been everything advertised since joining the Rangers. He is 3-1 with a 2.21 in six starts, with 47 strikeouts and 12 walks in 36 2/3 innings. He’s 11 strikeouts away from moving into the top 10 all-time in career strikeouts. Career against Houston, he is 5-1 with a 2.98 ERA and has won his past five against them. Scherzer won at Houston on June 19 this year with the Mets, allowing one run over eight.
Bet Rangers to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Games
Astros 4, Rangers 3
AL West Standings
|Updated at September 6th|
W: Wins | L: Losses | %: Winning Percentage | GB: Games Behind | STRK: Current Streak | HOME: Record at Home | AWAY: Record When Away
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