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August 11, 2017

An American League West showdown in the state of Texas highlights the Friday night Major League Baseball Calendar when the Houston Astros visit the Texas Rangers. The current line on top sportsbooks has Houston slightly favored at -125, Texas at +105 and the over/under run total on 10.

Entering the game, Houston on the season is 71-43 overall and 38-18 on the road. The Astros are 3-7 in their last 10 games played. Texas on the season is 54-59 overall and 28-26 at home. The Rangers are 4-6 in their last 10 games played.

Nine teams are battling for two wildcard spots in the AL with the nine separated by just 6 ½ games. Texas is in eighth place in that group, but has a chance to move up during its 10-game home stand that starts today, but has a tough opponent to start with the No. 1 team in the AL.

Texas has lost 7 of its past 11 overall, but not because of Joey Gallo, who has hit a home run in three consecutive games and now has 32 on the season. During his hitting streak of eight straight games, Gallo blasted 8 home runs, while knocking in 14 runs.

Houston was swept by the Chicago White Sox to start their road trip of eight games and has won just 2 of 9 games to start August. Marwin Gonzalez has 67 RBIs for the Astros, which is tied for the lead on the team. This season Gonzalez has 4 home runs and 12 RBIs versus Texas.

Houston will send Charlie Morton to the mound on Friday. The Astros right-hander is 9-4 with an ERA of 3.78. Texas will counter with Cole Hamels. The Rangers left-hander is 6-1 with an ERA of 3.59.

Morton has pitched better this season than Houston could have asked for and one more win matches his career high of 10 set in 2011 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hamels had given up 15 runs across 17 1/3 innings over a span of three starts before limiting the Minnesota Twins to four hits and an unearned run for a complete game win.

Houston is 7-3 head to head against Texas this season

Houston is 1-4 in its last 5 games overall.

Texas is 1-4 in its last 5 games at home.

With this free pick, we like Houston to win.

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Friday, August 11th, 2017 2017, Baseball

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