Houston @ TEXAS
TEXAS +110 over Houston

Pinnacle +109 BET365 +105 SportsInteraction +103 BetOnlin+105 Bookmaker +105

Posted at 5:00 PM EST. 

TEXAS +110 over Houston

8:05 PM EST. Kyle Gibson (RHP - TEX) is another pitcher that has improved significantly in 2021. After posting subpar skills in 2018 and 2019, his skills have really soared this year. He's missing a lot more bats (13.4% swing and miss rate) and getting ahead of many more hitters. He’s been reliable and effective but this isn’t about getting behind Gibson.

We’d probably feel a bit better about getting behind the Rangers if they had scored a lousy run in their last two games but one of the reasons we get them at a price is because they haven’t scored in two games but this isn’t Corey Kluber or Domingo Germán that the Rangers will be facing. No, in a desperate search for bodies, Tyler Ivey (RHP - HOU) will be promoted from the taxi squad to make his major league debut here.

With both Framber Valdez and Jake Odorizzi now on Triple-A rehab stints, and the Astros with several off days that didn't require a No. 5 starter, this announcement comes as a mild surprise. The 25-year-old Ivey was the team’s 15th best prospect coming into spring with seemingly little chance of cracking this rotation permanently over the near-term.

Ivey is a high-effort mess of a 6-foot-4 right-hander with wild limbs and jerky movements. Despite that description, he actually has a lot more control of his body during the delivery than you’d expect. Ivey works between 92-95 with his four-seam fastball. The pitch shows plus life and sets up his hard upper-80s slider. That pitch shows plus horizontal break and hard dive when he’s on top of it and down in the zone. Ivey’s low-80s 11-5 curveball flashes plus with above-average depth. A fringy mid-80s changeup rounds out the repertoire. He maintains his arm speed well on the change, but it remains fairly lifeless through the zone. Ivey has present fringy command, which actually suggests truly impressive body control given his loud delivery, but that delivery does make it hard to project further refinement. Scouts say his arsenal is ideal for a low setup role where he can unleash a potent three-pitch mix in short bursts to buzzsaw through a tough group of righties.

Ivey has pitched just 6.1 innings at Triple A this season, where he was tagged for seven hits and six earned runs. He also walked five batters while striking out nine. His profile screams out that he’s going to get into some jams because he’s wild and can’t keep runners off the bases (1.89 WHIP in his Triple A career). If he gets out of it, so be it but as a lower prospect, dude cannot be favored in his first major league start because he’s a minor league pitcher that is being called out prematurely as an emergency starter.

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Our Pick

TEXAS +110 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.20)