The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers square off on Monday, April 25th in the first game of a four-game series. First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. The Astros will send Framber Valdez (1-1, 4.50 ERA) to the mound while the Rangers will counter with Dane Dunning (0-1, 5.68 ERA).
Houston (7-8) lost the first two games of their three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays but were able to secure the walk-off win on Sunday. Down 7-6 in the 10th inning, Jeremy Pena knocked a two-run home run for the victory. Looking ahead to this game, Valdez will be making his fourth start of the season. In his last outing, he pitched 4.1 innings giving up eight hits and six earned runs for the loss. Valdez will be looking to bounce back against a struggling Rangers team.
Texas (5-9) was able to rebound a little from a poor start as they took two of three from the Oakland Athletics. They failed to pull off the sweep as they lost 2-0 on Sunday. They return home to start building some momentum on a seven-game homestand. Dunning is starting his fourth game of the season trying to notch his first win. In his last outing, Dunning pitched four innings and gave up six hits for three earned runs while walking and striking out three.
Astros vs. Rangers
Pitchers: Framber Valdez vs. Dane Dunning
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
Astros local broadcast: AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Rangers local broadcast: Bally Sports Southwest
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Moneyline odds: Houston -130, Texas +110
Picks & predictions
Moneyline pick: Houston -130
This one comes down to the pitching matchup and likelihood of success. There is a chance that second baseman Jose Altuve is activated for this game, but even if he isn’t, Houston should take it. The Rangers lineup has fallen well short of their expectations to start the year and their pitching staff isn’t much better. Valdez should have a solid outing and the Astros lineup could tee off on Dunning as their bats wake up.
Player prop pick: Framber Valdez U4.5 strikeouts (+105)
You are getting tremendous value betting under Valdez’s strikeout total on Monday night, especially with plus odds. Lowering pitch counts is the norm in the MLB now, and he hasn’t thrown more than 84 pitches in any of his first three starts, failing to record more than 3 strikeouts in two of them. The Rangers lineup has struck out 7.6 times per game this season, which is the fourth-fewest in the league.
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