MLB Sunday Night Baseball Preview: Rangers vs. Astros odds, predictions and best bets

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MLB Sunday Night Baseball Preview: Rangers vs. Astros odds, predictions and best bets

On Sunday, April 16th, the Houston Astros host the Texas Rangers in the second Sunday Night Baseball matchup of the 2023 MLB season. In addition to giving out best bets and player props this year, we’ll also regularly be diving into MLB’s Sunday night game of the week. We know there will be a lot of eyeballs on these matchups, and we want to make sure you know what you’re getting into in these games. So, keep reading to see how we’re playing this one!

 

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Rangers at Astros betting odds

Astros -200 / Total: 8

For updated odds, check out our VSiN MLB Odds page!

Rangers at Astros Side Analysis

After giving up seven earned runs in only 2.2 innings of work in his first start of the year, Andrew Heaney bounced back and pitched 5.0 innings of one-run ball against the Kansas City Royals on Monday, April 10th. Heaney struck out 10 batters in that game, and he just looked a lot more comfortable out there. Perhaps you can chalk it up to nerves, as that first start was his first in front of Rangers fans.

This is, however, a tough matchup for Heaney, which isn’t surprising considering the Astros are a tough matchup for pretty much anyone. But Houston is seventh in MLB this season in wRC+ and was second in baseball in that metric last year. This Astros team can really do damage against left-handed pitching, and Heaney hasn’t exactly done his best work in night games throughout his career. Heaney is 12-10 with a 3.82 ERA in 33 starts during the day, but he is just 25-33 with a 4.88 ERA in 95 night outings. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be too shocking if he were to struggle a bit here.

Houston is also going to feel great about sending Framber Valdez to the hill in this game. The southpaw has a 1.89 ERA in three starts this season, and he was stellar against the Rangers last season. In five meetings with Texas, Valdez was 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA and struck out 39 batters in 34.2 innings of work. Valdez was also 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Rangers in 2021. This matchup clearly brings out the best in him, and he should be able to go out there and give Houston a great chance to win tonight.

Rangers at Astros Total Analysis

The under is 7-2-1 in Valdez’s last 10 starts against the Astros, and it doesn’t seem likely that Heaney will pitch poorly enough to buck the trend. The Rangers starter has been involved in his fair share of overs, but he’s a better pitcher now than he has ever been. Heaney is coming off a season in which he had a 3.10 ERA in 14 starts. That ultimately ended up earning him a nice contract from Texas.

The Astros are also somewhat depleted right now, with Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley both out. So, Heaney isn’t exactly facing Houston at full strength. That should help him avoid getting chased in this one. These are also two teams that shouldn’t lose the plot when they hand things off to the bullpens. If it’s a low-scoring game when the ball is ultimately handed off, it should end that way. 

Rangers at Astros Best Bet 

With the way Valdez has pitched against the Rangers in recent years, it’s hard to see this turning into a high-scoring game. And even if Heaney doesn’t pitch well for Texas, it’s going to be very difficult for him to singlehandedly lose this one for under bettors. With that in mind, the under looks like the best bet on the board here.  

Pick: Under 8 (-110) 

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