Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Prediction and Pick
When: Thursday, September 16, 2021 – 5:05 pm EST
Where: Globe Life Field
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Probable Pitchers
- Astros: Framber Valdez (10-5, 3.26 ERA)
- Rangers: Glenn Otto (0-1, 6.92 ERA)
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Prediction
It’s been a lousy month for Framber Valdez of the Houston Astros. The one lockdown starter has allowed nine runs in his last 11 innings with 12 hits, seven walks, and two home runs.
Despite all of that, he still has a 3.26 ERA on the season. If he limits the walks against the Rangers, Valdez will do just fine.
However, the Rangers will pitch Glenn Otto, who has a 6.92 ERA on the season. Otto is coming off a 3.1 inning performance against the Athletics after allowing eight runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
The analytics say he didn’t pitch terribly. Mainly because he allowed no home runs, struck out five batters, and walked just one.
Maybe he was a bit unlucky in that start, but eight runs on eight hits includes some bad pitching too.
Otto has a .395 wOBA to lefties and has struggled to strike them out with just 16.7 percent strikeouts against lefties faced. Meanwhile, against righties, he’s been better with a .242 wOBA. However, those righties have hit 27.3 percent line drives against him in 38 plate appearances.
Otto is going up a lineup that can crush the baseball with hard contact and lots of line drives. This is not going to be a great match-up for Otto.
The Astros are hitting just 32.3 percent ground balls against righties in the last 30 days while smacking 23.1 percent line drives against righties. However, the power numbers can be better for the Astros as the projected lineup only has an ISO of .153 in the last 30 days.
Still, Houston has a high wOBA of .341 and minimizes strikeouts against every pitcher with just 18.3 percent strikeouts against righties in the last 30 days. If Otto can’t get strikeouts, balls will be put in the play in the air, as line drives with hard contact. In his last 30 days, Otto has allowed a BABIP of .389. That means about 39 percent of hits against Otto have become base hits.
If a player hit .389 for the entire year, they would easily win the batting title. However, a BABIP of nearly .400 is really bad and probably not sustainable, to be fair. Otto has had some bad luck, but some of it is just getting hit hard.
Let’s roll with the Astros tonight in the first five innings to score three runs. The number I’ve got on DraftKings is 2.5 at -115, which is pretty fair going up against a guy that just allowed eight runs in less than four innings.
Expect lots of Astros on base. We’ll just need one or two clutch hits in the first five innings to cash this ticket. I think we’ll get some.