The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers tangle in a meeting of the Lone Star State. The Rangers had their way with the Astros for years, but the tables have done a complete 180 in the Astros direction. While the Rangers may have had the better team for years, they didn’t manage to win the ultimate goal in baseball, the World Series. Following years of suffering, the Astros completed the feat in relatively quick fashion.
Texas had a good team but were unable to get over the hump. They were always a regular season team who couldn’t make the extra play in the postseason. The Astros were able to do that and won their first World Series in 2017. Houston have a team that could definitely go the distance again.
The Astros head into their series against the Rangers feeling pretty good after last night. They just had a come from behind victory over the Mariners by a score of 7-5. However, that was only their first win in the last four games. They dropped the final two games of a four-game series against the Red Sox, and then another to the Mariners before coming back for the 7-5 win. The ‘Stros enter Thursday with a record of 38-25, so they are still in good shape.
This team did not have the same level of competition last year, though. The Red Sox and the Yankees were not playing this well, and as such, pose a serious threat to them if they want to repeat in 2018. Nonetheless, their rotation has been deadly as ever, and not something I would want to meet in the postseason. Gerrit Cole has played a part in paving the way for this Astros’ rotation. He will get the start today against Cole Hamels of the Rangers. Head below for our free Astros vs. Rangers pick.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Pick
Gerrit Cole (6-1, 2.20 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (3-5, 3.62 ERA)
Gerrit Cole has morphed into an ace in his first season with the Houston Astros. After being a mainstay of the Pirates’ rotation for five years, Cole has been welcomed with open arms in Houston. The coaches have done a tremendous job getting the most out of these guys. Verlander looked like his career was in the cooker in the later stages of his career with the Tigers.
He goes to Houston and instantly looks rejuvenated, helping the Astros win a World Series. It’s carried over into 2018, as he’s been on his way to another Cy Young. Don’t overlook Cole, though. He enters with an ERA of 2.20, which includes a 1.76 ERA and 0.83 WHIP on the road. Cole carries a perfect record of 4-0 away from home.
The Rangers have looked at Cole as a Rubik’s Cube. They are hitting a measly .109 in 46 at-bats. In other words, just 5 hits across 46 attempts. There are several guys on the roster that haven’t gotten a hit against Cole yet, including Beltre, Choo, and Profar. To Cole Hamel’s credit, he hasn’t had a bad history against these Astros’ hitters. In 247 at-bats, they’re hitting .239 against Hamels. In his last outing against the Astros, he blanked them across 6 innings. They mustered up just 1 hit on Hamels. The total is just a tick too high for me here. A play on the UNDER looks warranted in Arlington.