Max Scherzer (13-6, 3.77) is expected to make the start for the Rangers. Meanwhile, Christian Javier (10-5, 4.56) is expected to take the hill for the Astros.
Who will win this all-or-nothing Game 7 matchup? Find out when we share our best prediction for tonight’s Rangers vs. Astros Game 7 ALCS contest for Monday, October 23.
Sherzer on the Bump
The Texas Rangers traded for Sherzer for this very reason. They wanted an established ace to win them a big game, and it doesn’t get any bigger than tonight’s game seven against the hated Astros.
Scherzer pitched fairly well this season, posting a 13-7 mark splitting time between the New York Mets and Texas. He missed the last month of the regular season, but prior to the playoffs, the veteran righty was 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA over 107.2 innings pitched for the Rangers.
Marcus Semien on the clutch bullpen, road team winning, and Max Scherzer going in Game 7 … pic.twitter.com/2POTHRAdEc
— Stefan Stevenson (@StefanVersusTex) October 23, 2023
The Rangers righty returned to the rotation after missing over one month to face the Astros and served up five earned runs with a home run and four strikeouts in the Rangers 8-5 loss in Game 3 at Texas.
Surrendering runs in the playoffs has been a theme throughout Sherzer’s career. For all of his regular season success, the righty has posted a 7-8 record with a 3.80 ERA. Scherzer is 0-3 over his last three playoff appearances and hasn’t won a postseason start since 2019.
Houston is one of the best-hitting teams in baseball, and this current collection of Astros has raked against Scherzer. They’ve slashed .289/.335/.503/.838 with eight home runs and 38 strikeouts over 174 at-bats and have scored 29 runs during this series.
Javier Strong Playoff Run
We know all about Scherzer, but Javier seems to come alive during the postseason. After an interesting regular season where he posted a 10-5 record with a 4.56 ERA, the young fella from Santo Domingo has turned into an ace, winning both his playoff starts on two earned runs over 10 ⅔ frames.
Both playoff victories came on the road, and Javier hasn’t pitched at Minute Maid Park since September 20, when he scattered three hits with one earned run and 11 strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles.
Christian Javier is a postseason legend
Mad Max has a lot of postseason experience
Who will take game 3 in Arlington ? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/EGPnujV0ai
— Manny Being Manny 😎⚾️🏈🏀 (@Gianni_Rock33) October 18, 2023
That continued a strong home run for the Astros righty–Javier posted a 3.71 ERA with less than one home run allowed, but his xFIP at home was a full run higher than his ERA.
Texas had the best offense against righties during the regular season and the second-highest run differential in the American League. They’ve succeeded against Javier and have slashed .231/.308/..441/.749 with eight home runs and 37 strikeouts over 147 at-bats against Javier.
Rangers vs. Astros Best Bet
A friendly reminder that sports betting in Texas is prohibited.
Astros righty Christian Javier has been brilliant during this postseason and has a prime opportunity to continue this trend tonight in Game 7 at home against Texas.
Javier beat Scherzer Wednesday night in Arlington and pitched very well against a Rangers offense that has also had some success against him.
The Astros righty might be 26 years old, but over his career he is 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA over 43.1 playoff innings. He might struggle sometimes during the regular season but seems to turn into Superman when he pitches in the playoffs.
Texas third baseman Josh Jung blasted a home run off of Javier, but otherwise, that was the only blemish in an otherwise splendid outing for the Houston playoff phenomenon.
Scherzer stymied the Astros during his June outing against Houston as a member of the New York Mets, but just prior to being placed on the IL, the Rangers lit him up for seven earned runs, and he allowed five earned runs against Houston in Game 3.
The Astros seem to have his number, which doesn’t bode well for either Scherzer or the Rangers.
Finally, I like Javier and the Astros to win this game (-125) at BetMGM Sportsbook. Javier has been solid during the playoffs and has allowed only 14 earned runs over his previous 26 innings pitched at Minute Maid Park. Houston dominated their regular season series 9-4 and is 34-18 since 2020 at home during the postseason. Look for the Houston bats to rough up Scherzer early and ride their pitching straight into their third consecutive World Series appearance.
My Best Bet: Houston Astros (-125) BetMGM Sportsbook
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