Are the Texas Rangers becoming a team of destiny in the American League?
After advancing through the wild card, Texas swept the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS and now has a 1-0 lead in the ALCS against the Houston Astros.
Jordan Montgomery threw a gem in Game 1 for the Rangers, leading them to a 2-0 win against Justin Verlander and the Astros. These teams have a ton of familiarity with each other from playing in the same division, but the Astros were 9-4 against Texas during the regular season.
Can the Rangers turn things around completely in the playoffs? The team has gotten off to a good start with a Game 1 win, but it could really take hold of this series with another road win in Game 2 on Monday night.
Nathan Eovaldi, who has been lights out in the playoffs so far, gets the ball for Texas against Houston lefty Framber Valdez. This will be just the second outing for Valdez this postseason.
Rangers vs. Astros probable pitchers for ALCS Game 2
- Texas: Nathan Eovaldi (righty) – 12-5, 3.63 ERA
- Houston: Framber Valdez (lefty) – 12-11, 3.45 ERA
How should we bet on this game?
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With that in mind, here is how I am betting Game 2 of the ALCS:
Rangers vs. Astros odds, run line and total
Rangers vs. Astros prediction and pick
Valdez was lights out in the playoffs last season for Houston, posting a 1.44 ERA in four outings as the team went on to win the World Series, but he did not look good in his first postseason start in 2023.
In his outing against the Minnesota Twins, Valdez lasted just 4.1 innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits. Houston ended up losing that game.
It’s hard to base everything off of one start, but Valdez didn’t finish the regular season strong either, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) in just 9.1 innings over his final two starts.
Does that give Texas an edge?
With Eovaldi on the mound, it might.
The right-hander has been great this postseason, allowing just two runs across 13.2 innings in two starts. He has been a great playoff performer in his career, posting a 2.70 ERA in 13 outings.
I also think that the Rangers have an advantage at the dish here, as they ranked No. 4 in the league in OPS against left-handed pitching this season.
It may be crazy to take Texas to win back-to-back games as an underdog, but this team is red hot and may have the advantage on the mound. I’ll back Eovaldi to get it done in Game 2.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.