Texas (82-69) at Houston (80-73)
When: Friday, September 25th, 2015
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Time: 8:10 ET
TV: ESPN2 Radio: XM 89
If the Houston Astros won’t to get back the American League West division lead from the Rangers, then a sweep this weekend against Texas is a must. The Astros were embarrassed last week in Texas. The Rangers swept them in 4-games and outscored them 33-13. Houston will start the weekend 3.5 games behind the Rangers with only 9 games remaining. After the Rangers series, the Astros dropped the first game back home to Oakland, but then won their next 3 games before falling to the Angels in their last two. They still hold a game and a half lead over the Angels and Twins in the A.L. Wild Card race. The Astros are currently 3-3 in their 9-game homestand. They will finish the season with 6 on the road. Scott Kazmir gets the ball tonight. He’s been pretty bad in his last 5 outings surrendering 3 or more runs in each of them and has 2 loses and 3 no decisions. He actually only has one win in his last 10 starts. He has been good against Texas this year, however. He is 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA in 5 starts.
Texas responded with their sweep of Houston last week with a series loss to Seattle, but then swept Oakland this week and outscored them 26-10. Texas should feel comfortable with a 3.5 game lead in the division and more than that just to make the playoffs, but they know how important it is to win the West. They are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now and don’t appear to be slowing down. They actually have a better record on the road (44-34) than they do at home (39-35), so they won’t be intimidated by the Houston crowd. Yovani Gallardo gets the start tonight and he’s had a decent season. Overall he’s 12-11 with a 3.41 ERA. He’s having trouble going deep into games lately. He hasn’t seen the 7th inning since June 27th. His only start at Minute Maid Park this year didn’t go so well. He was hit for 5 runs in just 4 innings.
Kazmir has had success against Texas this year and the Astros at home are 51-27. I think Houston can make this division race interesting and it starts with a win tonight.
Pick: Astros -130