Another day, another lopsided pitching matchup in the AL West showdown between the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.
Framber Valdez (10-4, 2.87 ERA) has been one of the best lefties in all of baseball this season for Houston, and he matches up with Cole Ragans, who makes his second career start for the Rangers.
Ragans' debut was solid, allowing one unearned run on three hits in five innings of work. A first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Ragans combined for a 3.04 ERA across 18 starts in Double-A and Triple-A this season.
He’s clearly a top-flight prospect, but can he compete with Valdez?
Here are the odds from DraftKings for this matchup:
Rangers vs. Astros Odds, Run Line and Total
- Rangers +1.5 (-125)
- Astros -1.5 (-145)
- Rangers: +270
- Astros: -325
- 8 (Over +100/Under -120)
Rangers vs. Astros Prediction and Pick
You want consistency from a starting pitching? Look no further than Valdez, who has registered 18-straight starts with at least six innings pitched and three or fewer earned runs.
18 straight quality starts!
That’s hard to compete with, so Ragans will have his work cut out for him to keep up with Valdez. Granted, the Astros offense ranks just 18th in OPS over the past 30 days, but it still has potent hitters such as Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve.
The Rangers deserve their flowers against left-handed pitching, as they rank ninth in OPS against lefties this season. They have faced Valdez twice in 2022, going 1-1 in those games, but the win was back in April when Valdez spun six innings and allowed one unearned run.
I’m going to trust Valdez and company to get this done, and I wouldn’t mind a bet on his outs recorded prop if it is around 17.5 or 18.5. I don’t love laying a ton of juice on the run line, but this game is Houston or nothing for me.
Lean: Astros -1.5 (-145)
Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.