The Houston Astros will go for a sweep on Sunday after wins of 4-3 and 6-1. Jose Urquidy was called up for the Astros and pitched a brilliant game yesterday. He allowed just 2 hits and 1-run across 7 innings of work in the win. The only run for the Rangers was a solo jack by Shin-Soo Choo. That was all of the offense by the Rangers for the night.
Houston got to Ariel Jurado for 8 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings of play. That was enough for the Astros to get their second win in a row over the rival Rangers. The loss was the sixth in a row for the Rangers, who are beginning to fall back in the wildcard race. Going into Sunday, the Rangers are 6.5 games back of a postseason slot.
For a minute there the Rangers were stuck wondering what they should do at the trade deadline. Now that they’re down by 6.5 games, it’s becoming abundantly clear that they should be sellers. Mike Minor is the most likely notable player to get moved on the Rangers’ roster.
The Rangers recently acquired Nick Solak to give a struggling Rougned Odor some competition, but that isn’t a blockbuster move to improve the team much. Minor has talked out about his displeasure in being involved in trade talks. He doesn’t seem like he’s in the mood to pack up and go to another team, even if it’s a contending squad.
Along with Minor, Hunter Pence and Choo could be on the chopping block. Pence has far outpaced his season expectations, so the Rangers have an unexpected trade chip with him. Pence and Choo are aging veterans who both have plenty of value. Trading them to get a decent haul in return makes sense.
The Astros will give another rookie a chance on the bump Sunday. Urquidy was strong in his third career start, while Rogelio Armenteros is expected to get his first career start today. Lance Lynn will get the go for the Rangers on the other side. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Astros pick.
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Rangers have fallen to 50-48 on the year, quickly moving down from 50-42 not too long ago. A 50-48 record would still have them closely in contention in the National League, but this isn’t the National League and the Rangers are 6.5 games down in the AL. The Red Sox and Rays are ahead of them as the first teams out of the postseason.
The Indians and Athletics are currently in possession of the wildcards. Lance Lynn has been doing his job this season in Arlington. He owns an ERA of 3.87 with a record of 12-5, which puts him on pace for his first season with an ERA below 4.00 since he was a Card.
Lynn posted a 3.15 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in his previous three outings. However, he was tripped up against the Diamondbacks, with 5 runs allowed in his most recent showing. The last time he allowed that many runs he bounced back in the next start to pitch 8 scoreless innings on the road.
Lynn has been pitching well on the road in 2019, with a 3.45 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 57.1 innings. He’s also had an impressive history against the Astros in his career. Houston are hitting .217 with just 5 runs scored in 83 at-bats against Lynn.
Rogelio Armenteros has made three appearances out of the bullpen, though has yet to make a start in his rookie campaign. Armenteros made 13 starts in the minors before getting called up to the big leagues. There he had an ERA of 5.05 and 1.51 WHIP, so he’s been better as a reliever in the majors thus far.
Starting can be a whole different animal, though, and I think he might run into some issues Sunday. In any case, I don’t see him as a -140 favorite in this spot. Lynn has proven that he can handle the ‘Stros and the Rangers are going to be hungry to end this losing streak and avoid falling twice in a row against rookies. I advise going with the better value play on the road team in this one.