Kyle Gibson (1-5, 6.14 ERA) vs. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-2, 5.79 ERA)
The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros and meet for the second of three games on Wednesday evening at Minute Maid Park. It’s an all Texas affair between the Rangers and Astros. It hasn’t gone well for either team this season. The Astros might get into the postseason because of an expanded postseason, but they will have to fight to get in.
They should be able to reach the postseason. A lapse down the stretch and someone might steal their spot. As sad as it is, a record of 24-24 would be good enough to get into the postseason. By then, the Astros might be able to get Justin Verlander back, and then who knows, maybe they pull off an upset or two.
Not only will they need a Verlander back in the rotation, I think it’s also going to require Lance McCullers Jr. bouncing back into form. A lot will have to go right for the Astros if they’re going to do something in the postseason. After a turbulent offseason for obvious reasons, their heads just don’t seem to be fully in it. Perhaps that changes once they realize it’s go time in the playoffs, but we’ll have to see.
Arlington will be hosting the World Series, but you won’t see the Texas Rangers there. The Rangers are a 17-31 team going into Wednesday against the ‘Stros. There isn’t a prayer that is going to get the Rangers into the postseason. The pitching has been far too inconsistent, and the offense has completely disappeared at times.
Kyle Gibson hopes to do something positive at Minute Maid tonight. There hasn’t been anything good to speak of for Gibson in 2020. Mike Minor said that he wanted to stay in Texas last year at the trade deadline instead of going to a serious contender, but I think he might be having second thoughts at the moment. McCullers Jr. gets the nod for the Astros in his first start since coming off the IL. Head below for our free Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros pick for September 16, 2020.
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Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Prediction:
The Texas Rangers have to attract some offensive talent to Arlington before they start thinking playoffs. Joey Gallo is with the Rangers, but there are a lot of holes in their lineup that are good at killing innings. The Rangers are 29th in the major leagues with an average of just 3.73 runs notched per game.
Pittsburgh is the only team in the league that has scored fewer runs than the Rangers in 2020. This should make for a good spot for McCullers to bounce back into form. McCullers didn’t record an out in his last start before getting pulled. He was pounded for 2 hits and 3 earned runs against the Angels in Anaheim.
There might have been a very good reason for McCullers struggles in that game. He immediately went on the IL after that poor start and received injections for nerve irritation in his neck. McCullers reportedly feels much better now and should be good to go for Wednesday.
This is a relatively easy assignment with the Rangers on the other side and he gets them at home. McCullers has a 1.82 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in Houston as opposed to a 13.50 ERA and 2.45 WHIP on the road. The Rangers have been useless against McCullers in his career. The current lineup is hitting .097 with 1 RBI through 38 at-bats against him. McCullers should expect to receive plenty of run support in this contest.
Kyle Gibson has been out of sync and is just trying to stay afloat right now. Gibson has gotten punished with an ERA of 6.14 and 1.66 WHIP. Note that Gibson has conceded at least 4 earned runs in four out of his last five starts. In his previou three outings, Gibson owns a 7.04 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, and .440 OBA. The Astros need another win, and they should be able to get it done by 2 or more runs at home on Wednesday.