The second half is upon us.
Tonight, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers get the latter portion of the MLB season started in Arlington, with a match-up slated between Framber Valdez and Lance Lynn. This is the only game of the night, but at least there’s something other than Summer League basketball to watch.
It’s the perfect way to get re-acclimated to baseball that counts – one game before a 15-game slate and the MLB Rundown gets thrown at you again tomorrow. So, maybe with tonight’s game you make a few picks – you could go with the Rangers to cover, or under 10.5 runs – to get warmed up for the plethora of options you’ll have tomorrow.
This article is going to serve as a preview for tonight’s game, but because I miss making picks just as much as you probably do, I’ll throw a little suggestion at the end of each section.
That way, we can both work our way back into the mental headspace required to pick some winning games. Through the first five days of July, our picks went 10-10. Not terrible but could certainly be better. We’ll get a new opportunity to build upon the modest start today. We plan on taking full advantage of the clean slate.
Let’s get it started.
**Odds official as of 7/11/19, 12:00 p.m. ET**
The Rangers at Home
Only five teams in baseball boast a higher home winning percentage than the Rangers. In the first half, they went 29-17 despite going 5-5 over their last 10 home games. The offense has been a big reason why opposing teams have struggled in Arlington. On average, Texas has plated 5.7 runs per game through 46 home games. They’ve needed those runs, too, as Rangers pitchers have posted a combined 4.61 ERA at home. Still, the fact remains, they’ve been able to find ways to win in front of the home crowd.
They’ll be home underdogs for this match-up with the Houston Astros, which is a position they’re very familiar with. The visiting team has been favored in over half of Texas’ home games – 25 of 46 – but the Rangers are 15-10 in those games. Their .600 winning percentage as home dogs is the sixth-highest mark in baseball. However, the five teams ranked ahead of them in home underdog winning percentage have only seen the visiting team favored a combined 31 games this season. So, in other words, the Rangers have fared extremely well in these games, despite playing in more of them than any team that’s above .500 as a home dog.
So, what’s the play?
Texas is 17-8 against the run line as a home underdog, which is the second-highest win total among major league teams. At -134, the Rangers’ run line presents solid value.
Page 2: Pitching Breakdown
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