Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA)
The Houston Astros and Texans Rangers meet in an all-Texas matchup at Globe Life Field on Thursday. The World Series is going to be at Globe Life Field, but the Rangers will not. Following the first round of the postseason, Globe Life will serve as a bubble site for the rest of the playoff, including the World Series.
To get to Arlington a win in the first round will be necessary. The Rangers are statistically eliminated from the postseason with a record of 19-37. The only team that the Rangers are ahead of in the majors is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Rangers are three wins behind the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox in the American League.
In other words, there’s a good chance that the Rangers will finish dead last in the AL. At least Globe Life Field will be able to host a World Series so early in its history? It might be a while before the World Series goes back to Arlington. The only way is that if Major League Baseball uses Arlington as a bubble site again next season. The Rangers aren’t in a position to turn their plight around that quickly.
The Houston Astros, on the other hand, are fresh off a recent World Series win in 2017. No matter what you think of them, their championship isn’t being taken away. They didn’t earn it the right way, and I think from what we’ve seen this season, especially from Jose Altuve, they were benefitting from the “help”. Thanks to the 16-team playoff rule, the ‘Stros have a chance of going to the postseason with a .500 record. They enter Arlington with a record of 28-28.
This will be Cristian Javier’s final start of the year. He will not be included in the postseason rotation and instead moved to the bullpen. Justin Verlander definitely won’t be there, as surgery wipes out any chances of a return. It’s not that Javier has been bad, and I think he can be a nice arm for them as a reliever in October. Ace Lance Lynn is scheduled to counter for the Rangers at home. Head below for our free Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers pick for September 24, 2020.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers MLB Betting Odds:
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Prediction:
Cristian Javier has done a stand up job for the Astros in 2020. He has had to take on a big role as a rookie without Justin Verlander around in the rotation. Javier has pitched well with an ERA of 3.33 and 0.99 WHIP through 11 games and 48.2 innings of work.
That’s in two appearances out of the bullpen and nine starts. In his nine starts, Javier has recorded an ERA of 3.55 and 1.01 WHIP. He hasn’t been particularly sharp on the road, though. Javier has an ERA of 5.03 and 1.32 WHIP through 19.7 innings of work away from Minute Maid Park.
There have been few bright spots for the Rangers in 2020. Lance Lynn has been one of them. The veteran would look rather nice in the rotation of a contender, but the Rangers didn’t move him at the trade deadline. It was reported that the Padres were in discussion with the Rangers for Lynn, though they ultimately settled on Mike Clevinger from the Indians.
Lynn is not young, he’s a 33-year-old, so I think failing to move him at the peak of his value was a miss for the Rangers. That said, next year is the final deal of his contract. If Lynn continues to pitch well, the Rangers can still fetch some decent offers next year. It’s just more of a gamble that he’ll stay healthy and continue hurling at this level. Lynn has been excellent, with an ERA of 2.53 and 0.96 WHIP.
He’s been at his best at Globe Life Field in 2020. Lynn has notched an ERA of 1.88 and 0.98 WHIP through 43 innings. Opponents are hitting .161 versus Lynn in seven performances. It’s been the same against this Houston team throughout his career.
The Astros are hitting .197 against Lynn in 143 at-bats. Sure, the Rangers are a bad team, but they should be motivated to compete against their in-state rival and their ace is on the hill. I will take Lynn as a +121 underdog at home here.