Astros vs Rangers Picks and Predictions: Texas Knots Series Against Houston in Underdog Win

Both Texas and Houston have not started the season how they've wanted, but both will look to gain momentum tonight. WIll H-Town take the series win or will the underdogs knot it up? Find out in our MLB betting picks for Astros vs. Rangers.

Chris Hatfield - Betting Analyst at
Chris Hatfield • Betting Analyst
Apr 28, 2022 • 11:33 ET • 4 min read
Martin Perez Texas Rangers MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will conclude their first season series on Thursday afternoon. Texas will be looking to even up the series as it took Game 1 but has lost the two preceding that. This is an excellent matchup of a World Series Contender versus one of the more improved teams in baseball, even if it is 6-12. Houston will be looking to get back over .500 in this one as it enters today 9-9. 

How will the first version of this series end today? Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Astros vs. Rangers on Thursday, April 28.

Astros vs Rangers odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Opening odds for today's matchup were released this morning. With Justin Verlander on the mound for the Astros, it's no surprise they opened up as favorites. They begin at -150, with the Rangers coming back at +130. Since then, the Astros have taken more money and fallen to -160 at most places. The total opened up at a flat 8.0 and has remained there.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Astros vs Rangers predictions

Picks made on 4/28/2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Astros vs Rangers game info

Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2022
First pitch: 2:05 p.m. ET
TV: AT&T SportsNet-SW, Bally Sports Southwest

Astros vs Rangers betting preview

Starting pitchers

Justin Verlander (1-1, 1.89 ERA): Mr. Reliable is that once again for the Astros. I'm impressed Verlander still has it as much as anyone in the game, but he still does. Over the last few seasons, Verlander has started to see his barrel rate climb — this year is no exception. Despite a greater likelihood of giving up the long ball, he has increased his ground ball rate, and his expected ERA has remained solid. As always, he relies on his fastball, but he's mixed things up more and more with his slider over the years. In 2022 it's probably been his best pitch producing a .230 xWOBA.

Martin Perez (0-2, 3.86 ERA): Perez rejoined the Rangers for the second time in his career this season after a mostly unimpressive stint in Boston. He posted a pretty rough 1.51 WHIP there in 36 outings. While Perez hasn't lit it up throughout his career, it seems he may be a bit unlucky to start this season. Most of his advanced metrics are at a career-best level. The longball has hurt him in the past, and he's dramatically improved his hard-hit rate and flyball rate. There's a reason why his expected ERA is an entire run lower than his actual ERA. After giving up seven runs in his first two starts, he did bounce back against the Oakland Athletics, pitching six scoreless innings on just two hits. 


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Astros: Jose Altuve 2B (Out), Jake Meyers CF (Out).
Rangers: No injuries to report.
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Rangers are 5-1 in their last six games as an underdog. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. Rangers

Astros vs Rangers picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

This isn't an easy one to handicap. For starters, your first inkling is to lean towards the Texas Rangers for various reasons. But when you do that, you're betting against Justin Verlander. That's never comfortable because it's always possible he could start dealing and become unhittable.

Secondly, you have splits that suggest the Astros struggle more against left-handed pitching like they'll be seeing today, more than right-handed pitching. Their numbers go down against left-handed pitching, except for one: Wins. The Stros' are 5-1 in their last six road games versus a left-handed starter. Try and figure that one out. With all of that being said, I'll be riding with the Rangers.

Verlander is due for a fair amount of regression sooner or later. On the other hand, he's never seen this lineup either. Sometimes that works to the advantage of the hitter, and sometimes it works to the benefit of the pitcher. In this case, I think it's the former. Verlander's barrel and hard-hit rate so far this season indicate that he's ready to be blown up.

Do the Rangers have many guys who blow the cover off the ball? No, not exactly, but they have a few guys who have a lot of pop in their bat. A few of those guys, particularly a player like Nick Solak, seem due for a bit of a breakout. 

On the other end of the spectrum, we have a pitcher who is due for some positive regression. Perez hasn't always been the most reliable guy to back in a wager, but he does seem to be pitching well and getting unlucky results. The name of this game is about who can force more ground balls. Both of these teams are good at avoiding it, while both of these pitchers are good at inducing it. In that scenario, it's certainly odd that I would fade Verlander, but I see the value created because of it. Verlander has a higher barrel rate and flyball rate, meaning he could be prone to giving up a big longball in what I see as a low-scoring game. 

My projections are calling this game a coin-flip. However, I see considerable value in the current number for the Rangers because of that. So I'll be taking them.

Prediction: Rangers moneyline (+150 at BetMGM)

Over/Under analysis

Winds could play a significant role today as it's expected to be a windy day in Arlington. It's difficult to say how much, as they are also blowing out to the left. Historically that has lowered the average runs by a bit, but it will be interesting to see what it does to flyball hitters today. 

With that disclaimer out of the way, I'm going with the Under here, and I feel pretty good about it. Both of these pitchers do an excellent job inducing ground-balls, and I think they'll win that battle with most batters today. While I'm betting against Verlander, there's always the chance he gets cooking early and becomes unhittable. That will work well for the Under. On the other end of the spectrum, I feel good about Perez and the positive regression he should soon get. 

My projections are expecting about 7.5 runs here. While that's not exactly a big safety net, I don't think it's accurately accounting for Perez. Those two things combined give me enough of an edge here, so I'll be taking the Under. 

Prediction: Under 8 (-105 at BetMGM)

Best bet

I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel for this one. Sometimes it's just about taking what you're being given in sports betting. This is one of those times. While I believe a few players have excellent matchups against Verlander, I don't want to pinpoint one player against him.

I believe this will be a low-scoring affair and I think the Rangers are well-equipped to get the win. In saying that, I'll also be taking +1.5. While my projections see the game as about a coin-flip, the edge even goes more in favor here. I see the Rangers winning or losing this game by less than two runs over 65% of the time. That's just over an 11% edge at the current number on FanDuel.

Pick: Rangers +1.5 (-118 at FanDuel)

MLB parlays

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