The Houston Astros are now one win away from winning a third straight pennant. This follows a thrilling ninth-inning rally that won Game 5 of this American League Championship Series. The Texas Rangers must feel like a prize fighter after a sound beating: dead on their feet and stumbling. They’ve dropped three straight, and their offense is sputtering to find a consistent attack.
FanDuel has the Astros at -500 to win the ALCS, a marked difference from the +375 on that futures market after Houston lost Game 2. The defending champs are also now the favorites to win the World Series, at +120 from BetMGM.
The Rangers must win both games back in Houston to capture the pennant. Only once has the road team won every game in a seven-game series. That was the 2019 World Series between the Nationals and Astros. That’s the only time in any major sport (MLB, NBA, NHL) that it’s occurred.
Series Schedule, TV Coverage of ALCS
- Game 1: Rangers 2, Astros 0
- Game 2: Rangers 5, Astros 4
- Game 3: Astros 8, Rangers 5
- Game 4: Astros 10, Rangers 3
- Game 5: Astros 5, Rangers 4
- Game 6: Rangers at Astros, Oct. 22, 8:03 PM ET on FS1
- Game 7:* Rangers at Astros, Oct. 23, 8:03 PM ET on FOX/FS1
Pitching Matchup for Game 6
Nathan Eovaldi (2.29 ERA, 24 K in 19.2 IP in postseason) vs. Framber Valdez (11.57 ERA, 11 K in 7 IP in postseason)
Thus far in the PS, Valdez has looked very good until he hasn’t. That is: the Houston righty has pitched superbly, usiing the sleepy, rocking chair motion, but then in his final inning BLAMMO! he gets hit. Shouldn’t that challenge Dusty Baker to read the room a little better and yank his Dominican pitcher before he can succumb to opposing batters? Dusty will likely err on the side of conservatism in Game 6, where he could simply empty much of his bullpen in an effort to win and avoid an “anything can happen” Game 7.
In Game 2, Eovaldi used 91 pitches to shackle the Astros, striking out nine. He’s been one of the breakout stars of this postseason, and has three wins to his credit. He’ll need to get outs more efficiently in Game 6 (more early-count outs) and avoid the longball (Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman went deep on him in G2). If Eovaldi falters, Bruce Bochy will be forced to do everything he can with his bullpen.
Astros vs Rangers Odds & Prediction
The Houston Astros are just different than everyone else. It’s time that the other 29 MLB teams accepted that. This is a roster filled with future Hall of Famers, superstars, and a lot of “never-say-die” guys. It all stems from José Altuve, who has been in the Houston organization since he was 16 years old, back in 2007.
He’s seen it all in Space City, from 100-loss seasons to sign-stealing scandals, to flag-raising ceremonies. As the unquestioned team leader, Altuve sets the tone. His three-run bomb in the ninth of Game 5 was like the lighting of the beacons in Lord of the Rings. And just like in that movie, there was a heroic and happy ending.
The Astros will have their stadium rocking in Game 6, and the specter of yet another pennant will be the spark this team needs to finish off the Rangers.
ALCS Game 6 Best Bet
We missed on our Best Bet for Game 5, but we have a great pick to get back on track for Sunday’s game, in the form of a same-game parlay from BetMGM (odds are +1795):
- Yordan Alvarez To Hit a Home Run
- José Altuve To Record a Hit
- Rangers +1.5
Yes, we like the Astros to win, but we think this will be another one-run nail-biter, with a Rangers comeback attempt falling short.