By Greg Dempson
Two numbers come into play in tonight’s contest, 7 and 11, so, do I head to the convenience store or the craps table? Houston has lost seven games to the Astros this season and they are 0–11 in their last 11 games at Arlington with that most recent loss last night, 6–5 as the Rangers scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to “steal” the win.
The Astros send 2015 Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel to the mound, (5.50 ERA, WHIP 1.447.) Keuchel’s 3–7 in 12 starts this season including 1–4 on the road with an ERA of 5.93, WHIP of 1.477.
He has lowered his WHIP in his last three starts down to 1.322 as well as his ERA to 4.12. Keuchel is 4–6 vs. the Rangers, (Keuchel/Team is 7–9,) with an ERA of 4.56 and a WHIP of 1.223.
The Rangers start Cole Hamels tonight. Hamels is 5–1 this season in 11 starts and he has fared well vs. the Astros, 6–3, (Hamels/Team are 9–4.)
Lefty vs. Lefty
· Keuchel has two starts vs. the Rangers this season, (0–2,) and he’s pitched a combined 12 innings allowing 13 earned runs, on 22 hits with no home runs allowed while walking one batter and striking out 11.
· Leftie Hamels has two starts vs. the Astros this season pitching 14.7 innings allowing 3 runs, (2 earned,) on 10 hits while allowing 2 homers, walking 5 and striking out 18.
· The Astros are averaging 3.7 runs per game vs. lefties this season, their lowest output in runs per game. They are 5–9 vs. left handed pitching this season.
· The Rangers are averaging 5.1 RPG vs. lefties this season and are 8–8.
· Houston is averaging 3.8 RPG vs. division foes while Texas is averaging 4.8 RPG.
· Texas is 18–5 in Hamels’ last 23 starts.
· The Astros are 36–81 in their last 117 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
Angles and Systems
· Texas is 22–9 vs. the money line in home games this season.
· The Astros are 43–50 against the money line when the total is 8.5 to 10 the last two seasons.
· The Rangers are 20–9 at home this season vs. the money line when the total is 8.5 to 10 runs.
· Houston is 1–5 in Keuchel’s last 6 starts when pitching with 4 days rest.
· Play against road teams with a money line of –100 to –150 after having won 3 of their last 4 games and playing against an opponent that’s won 6 or 7 of their last 8 games. This system is 40–17 = 70% the past five seasons.
Home Plate Umpire Paul Emmel
· The Astros are 6–13 in their last 19 games when Emmel is calling balls and strikes.
· In games involving the Astros, the home team is 24–09 in the last 33 contests with Emmel behind home plate.
· Hamels is 2–0 since joining the Rangers with Emmel behind home plate.
My Every Edge offering for this evening is on the Texas Rangers. The money line was –102 last night when I placed my wager. The line has climbed slightly to –107, which is still reasonable.