MLB picks: Astros vs. Rangers, Brewers vs. Cardinals (Sept. 24)
A pair of divisional matchups contain our best bets for Thursday night. First, the Houston Astros visit the Texas Rangers, then the Milwaukee Brewers face the St. Louis Cardinals.
Houston Astros (28-28) at Texas Rangers (19-37), 8:05 p.m. ET
Fri, September 25 2020, 12:05 AM
TEX Rangers[L. Lynn]
HOU Astros[C. Javier]
The Rangers are sending staff ace Lance Lynn to the mound on Thursday night, but the Astros would appear to have the edge regardless.
Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) has encountered few bumps on the road this season, but his lone start against Houston this year (Sept. 3) was awful. He pitched six innings but surrendered six earned runs on eight hits – including home runs to Aledmys Diaz and Martin Maldonado – and two walks. Lynn should be wary of Michael Brantley, who’s 7-for-19 (.368) all-time against him and has an OPS of .889 in September.
The Rangers have dropped six of their last seven games, thanks in no small part to their bullpen, which has a 4.30 ERA over that span (16th in the majors).
Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) will look to put an exclamation point on a fine rookie season for the Astros here. He has a 2.55 ERA and 0.905 WHIP through four starts in September. That includes his first career outing against Texas on Sept. 2 in which he limited their lineup to one run over 6 2/3 innings. Javier is backed by an Astros bullpen that has the second-lowest ERA in baseball over the last week (2.11).
Milwaukee Brewers (27-28) at St. Louis Cardinals (27-26), 8:15 p.m. ET
Fri, September 25 2020, 12:15 AM
STL Cardinals[K. Kim]
MIL Brewers[C. Burnes]
The Cardinals could put a dent in Corbin Burnes’ dark-horse Cy Young campaign as the Brewers visit Busch Stadium on Thursday night.
St. Louis’ lineup made Burnes (4-0, 1.77 ERA) work hard when they met at Miller Park on Sept. 14. In fact, Burnes had to toss 101 pitches just to get through 4 2/3 frames before being removed. The Redbirds scratched out five hits and three walks against Burnes in that eventual 3-2 defeat, but the knowledge they gained of his repertoire could prove invaluable here. Milwaukee’s bullpen has not been invulnerable lately either – they’re 13th by ERA (3.92) over the last seven days.
Kwang-Hyun Kim (2-0, 1.59 ERA) counters for the Cardinals. The 32-year-old rookie silenced the Brewers through seven frames on Sept. 14. He’ll go as deep as he can before turning things over to the St. Louis bullpen, which is a respectable ninth in ERA over the last week (3.42).