MLB Best Bet Picks and Parlay 10-18-23: Astros vs Rangers

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Welcome to The Bet Club for this crucial clash in ALCS tonight 10-18-23, where we have a best bet of the day, prop bets, NRFI/YRFI picks and an exciting same game parlay. As the Texas Rangers clinch back-to-back wins in Houston, they now head home with a 2-0 series lead in the ALCS. The return to their spirited home crowd sets the stage for a thrilling Game 3, where Max Scherzer makes a highly anticipated comeback from the IL. In this Bet Club article, our experts explore the best betting angles for this pivotal matchup. Let’s get into it and remember we bet better together at The Bet Club.

MLB Game 3 Best Bet Today: Money Line Pick: Texas Rangers to Win

The Texas Rangers are in the midst of an astonishing postseason run, remaining unbeaten with a perfect 7-0 record in the first 5 innings. Following a swift 2-game sweep of the Rays in the Wild Card, the Rangers extended their dominance with a 3-game sweep of the Orioles during the ALDS. Now, they hold a commanding 2-0 lead over the Astros in the ALCS. Winning the first two games of a series on the road is a key to success in postseason play, and the Rangers have excelled in this regard.

Astonishingly, only one of their seven postseason wins occurred at home. In their solitary home victory during the postseason, they triumphed over the Orioles with a resounding 7-1 scoreline to claim the ALDS. Adding to the excitement, Max Scherzer’s return is on the horizon. Scherzer’s comeback was contingent on the Rangers’ deep playoff run, and his 100% health status, coupled with Bruce Bochy’s vote of confidence, underlines the significance of his return.

Astros face a challenging scenario

On the flip side, the Astros face a challenging scenario. Despite deploying their top two pitchers with extended rest at home, they suffered defeats in both games. This places Houston in a precarious position, with Cristian Javier taking the mound in a must-win game. However, Javier is not the same pitcher he was in the previous season. In 2022, he was nearly untouchable, serving as a postseason sensation. But in 2023, Javier’s performance took a downturn, marked by a 4.56 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP across 31 starts, a considerable departure from his remarkable 2.54 ERA and 0.97 WHIP the previous year.

Notably, it was the Rangers who handed Javier his worst start during the regular season, where he endured a rough outing, conceding 8 runs, 9 hits, and 2 home runs in just 4.1 innings in July. The Rangers’ lineup presents a challenging matchup for Javier. He ranks in the 1st percentile in ground-ball rate and heavily relies on his fastball, throwing it nearly 60% of the time. In the postseason, the Rangers’ lineup has exhibited a penchant for attacking fastballs early in the count, and they are likely to employ this strategy against Javier. Furthermore, with 27 extra-base hits in just seven postseason games, Javier’s inability to induce ground balls proves to be his Achilles’ heel.

Texas Rangers Money Line (-135) available at the time of publishing. Playable up to -150.

MLB YRFI/NRFI Best Bets: Early Game Runs – Yes or No?

Will the teams score early runs, or will Game 3 be a classic pitchers’ duel? Let’s delve into this crucial aspect of the matchup.

MLB Expert Pick: Yes for Early Runs in the First Inning (YRFI)
Early Runs Await

The game total for Game 3 is set at 9 runs, and it’s likely that most of these runs will be scored early in the game. Max Scherzer’s return after a 35-day absence adds an element of uncertainty. In eight starts with the Rangers, Scherzer has performed admirably, posting a 3.20 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. However, one of those starts stands out—his September 6 outing against the Houston Astros at home. In that game, Scherzer allowed seven runs, including two in the first inning, along with six hits and three home runs, all in just three innings of work. While Scherzer remains a dominant pitcher, some of his key metrics have shown a slight decline. His strikeout rate (28.0%), walk rate (7.2%), and hard-hit rate (36.9%)—though still better than league averages—are his personal worst marks since 2015.

There are concerns regarding Scherzer’s performance after such a long hiatus from competitive action. If he manages to navigate the first inning unscathed, the Astros have their own question mark in right-hander Cristian Javier. Javier has excelled in recent postseason appearances, posting a remarkable 1.91 ERA over 37.2

Top MLB Player Prop Bets: Astros to Capitalize on Scherzer’s Return

The Houston Astros find themselves in a pivotal Game 3 scenario, trailing 2-0 in the ALCS against the Texas Rangers. Max Scherzer’s return to the mound after a 35-day hiatus raises questions, and we explore prop bets to exploit this situation.

MLB Prop Bet Pick 1: Houston Astros First 3 Innings Team Total Over 1.5 (+135) (Risking 0.5 Units)

The time is ripe to target Max Scherzer in his return to competitive action. With uncertainties surrounding the future Hall-of-Famer’s performance, there’s potential for an early offensive surge by the Astros. Scherzer’s last outing featured 68 pitches during live batting practice, and the gap between his last MLB appearance and this game adds an element of unpredictability. Although a 4-5 inning stint is plausible if he fares well, that’s far from guaranteed given the challenging matchup.

MLB Prop Bet Pick 2: Houston Astros First 5 Innings Team Total Over 2.5 (+124) (Risking 0.5 Units)

Continuing to exploit Scherzer’s return, this bet extends the timeframe to the first five innings. The question remains: How will Scherzer perform after a prolonged absence? By backing the Astros to score more than 2.5 runs within the first five innings, you’re banking on Scherzer struggling to find his groove against a potent Houston offense.

Analyzing the Astros’ Offense

The Astros showcased their offensive prowess during the ALDS, securing a 3-1 series win over the Minnesota Twins. They posted impressive run totals of 9 and 6 in two of those victories. The offense was particularly productive when their key players were in good health during the second half of the season.

While their recent home performances have been subpar, the Astros still maintain a powerful offense. On average, they scored 4.44 runs per game at home during the season, ranking 17th in MLB. However, their road record tells a different story, where they averaged 5.71 runs per game, ranking second-highest behind the Dodgers. Facing a 2-0 series deficit in Texas, the Astros will rely on their offensive firepower to bounce back.

Scherzer’s Vulnerabilities

Scherzer’s second-to-last start before hitting the injured list was against the Astros, with Justin Verlander starting for Houston. Scherzer faced a challenging outing, allowing 2 walks, 6 hits, 3 home runs, and 7 earned runs in just 3 innings of work. While he entered that game in good form with back-to-back starts against the Minnesota Twins, combining for 13 innings of 2-run ball, the Astros exploited his vulnerabilities. In that start, Scherzer managed only a 25% ground-ball rate (GB%) while allowing a 50% hard-hit rate. The five batted ball events from his 4-seamer and cutter generated an average exit velocity of over 98 MPH.

The Astros have historically performed well against Scherzer, with active Astros batters boasting a .287 batting average and an .830 OPS in 168 combined plate appearances. Several key Astros hitters, such as Michael Brantley and Jose Abreu, have experienced success against Scherzer. Facing a pitcher whose walk rate has increased and strikeout rate has decreased against left-handed batters this season, the Astros’ left-handed hitters, including Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, are well-positioned to contribute to the offensive effort. Alvarez, in particular, has been a force in the postseason, boasting a 1.701 OPS and eight extra-base hits in his first 25 plate appearances.

Intriguing Lineup Choices

The Astros might make strategic lineup choices to enhance their offensive production. Martin Maldonado, the regular starter in Cristian Javier’s games during the regular season, may be replaced or used as a pinch hitter due to his lack of offensive contribution. Rookie Yainer Diaz, who delivered an impressive performance during the season with 23 home runs in just 356 plate appearances, could offer a power boost if runners are on base when Maldonado’s spot in the order arrives.

Other Options

If you can’t access the specific betting markets mentioned, consider alternatives such as the full-game team total over 4 for the Astros or betting on the under for Scherzer’s 4.5 strikeout prop. The prices for team totals appear to reflect an assumption that Scherzer is in peak form, but his extended absence suggests he might not be at his best. While acknowledging Scherzer’s legendary status, these odds present an opportunity to bet against him in this scenario. Expect the Houston offense to rebound from recent underwhelming outings and put their team in a strong position for a Game 3 victory.

MLB Same Game Picks and Parlay: Astros vs. Rangers – Backing Yordan Alvarez

In a surprising twist of events, the Texas Rangers clinched victories in both games played in Houston, establishing a formidable 2-0 series lead as the action returns to Arlington. This places the Rangers in a commanding position, while the Astros find themselves just one loss away from facing elimination. As we approach Game 3, I’ve crafted an Astros vs. Rangers Same Game Parlay, offering enticing odds of over 7/1 at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Parlay Components:

  • Rangers ML First 5 Innings (-106): Backing the Rangers to secure a lead in the first 5 innings is a strategic choice, considering their momentum and the challenges the Astros face in this crucial matchup.
  • Corey Seager 2+ Bases (-120): Corey Seager, who has been a standout performer for the Texas lineup in recent games, is well-positioned to contribute significantly with at least two bases during this encounter.
  • Yordan Alvarez 2+ Bases (+100): Yordan Alvarez, known for his impressive power-hitting abilities, is a strong candidate to provide at least two bases during this matchup.

Combined Parlay Odds: +710

This Same Game Parlay presents an opportunity to capitalize on the evolving dynamics of this series, with a chance to earn substantial returns at +710 odds.

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