First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Kyle Cody (0-1, 0.93 ERA) vs. Jose Urquidy (0-1, 3.72 ERA)
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Predictions
To say Jose Urquidy rose to the occasion for the Astros in last year’s postseason would be a huge, huge understatement.
The Mexican right-hander — then a rookie — fully entrenched his standing in Houston’s future by allowing just a single run across four playoff appearances, including his lone start that took place in the World Series and manufactured a ‘W.’
Unfortunately, Urquidy’s impact on the 2020 squad was delayed significantly after testing positive for COVID-19 and being confined to his apartment alone for a considerable amount of time. Urquidy mentioned he had to rebuild his arm strength, as he was limited to only basic physical exercises and could not throw.
Well, the 25-year-old appears to now be as close to full strength as he’s been in awhile. He’s two starts into his campaign and is coming off a quality-start performance that was reminiscent of last October despite eating a tough-luck loss.
After shackling the Oakland Athletics to a pair of hits his last time out, it appears Urquidy is ready to reascend. True, his Ks have been down, recording only three in 9.2 total innings, but that strikeout rate will inevitably go up. Rust was likely one of the main factors for the drop but he soon should be closing in on his normal rhythm.
It also may help that he has the Rangers for his next outing. Urquidy enjoyed probably his most dominant showing last season in his lone meeting with Texas, going a career-high seven innings and yielding one run while striking out seven.
Rookie Kyle Cody serves as the other starter in this series opener, exhibiting similar potential to what his counterpart tonight flashed a year ago as a freshman.
Like Urquidy, Cody will be making his third start of the season, though he also logged some relief appearances prior as well. Overall, the 6-foot-7 hurler has looked solid, as only two runs (one earned) have been scored off Cody in his 9.2 innings of work. He also hasn’t allowed a home run.
Cody has not yet registered more than three innings yet but that’s likely related to building up his pitch count. Since he amassed 55 pitches in his last start, the hard-throwing righty is ready for more, and given Houston’s struggles lately, just finishing up a 2-9 road trip, this seems like an opportune time for Cody to hold them.
With this over/under having absolutely zero shot of sliding down to 8.5, you may as well wait like I am up until first pitch to see if it ticks up to 9.5. Even if it doesn’t, this is still going to be this evening’s total.
Bet: UNDER 9/9.5
MLB Leans - August 15
PIT/CIN Under 9
TOR/NYY Under 9
CLE/CHC Under 8.5
LAD/SD Under 8.5
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 13-35-4, -26.74 units
Yesterday’s Result: Athletics-Mariners Under 6 -- Game 1 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit