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Believe it or not, Sundays aren’t just about football, especially in October. The MLB playoffs are in full swing and getting tons of attention from fans and bettors. If you’re planning on betting on Sunday’s ALCS game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers, you can earn up to $1,000 in free bets by signing up for a Caesars Sportsbook account.
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All season, fans thought the AL East was the best division in the American League. But in the end, two teams from the AL West made it to the ALCS. The Astros are prepared to defend their championship against the upstart Rangers beginning with Game 1 on Sunday night.
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Late in the regular season, the Rangers and Astros were locked in a tight race for the AL West crown. Texas faded down the stretch, allowing the Astros to overtake them for the division title. That gave Houston a first-round bye. The Astros then knocked off the Twins, becoming the only team that earned a bye to reach the League Championship Series. Meanwhile, the Rangers got hot again in October, sweeping both the Rays and Orioles and going 5-0 in the postseason to reach the ALCS and give them another chance to topple the Astros.
Here is how Caesars looks at the odds for Game 1:
|Team||Moneyline||Run Line||Total Runs|
|Rangers||+118||+1.5 (-178)||Over 8.5 (-120)|
|Astros||-140||-1.5 (+150)||Under 8.5 (+100)|
During the regular season, the Rangers and Astros played each other 13 times. Houston won nine of those 13 games, including a three-game sweep of the Rangers in early September that ended up factoring into the Astros winning the AL West. The Rangers also lost four of their last six regular-season games, which also cost them the division and sent them to the postseason without much momentum.
However, Texas quickly turned that around. The Rangers have won all five of their playoff games, eliminating the Rays and Orioles while scoring 6.4 runs per game. To be fair, the Astros showed few signs of rust after getting a bye and beat a tough Minnesota team during the ALDS.
It’ll now be Justin Verlander taking center stage in Game 1 of the ALCS. Despite signing with the Mets during the offseason, Verlander was traded back to Houston, where he won the Cy Young in both 2019 and 2022 and helped the Astros to win the World Series in 2017 and 2022. Verlander dominated the Rangers in early September, allowing one earned run on four hits over seven innings. He’s allowed just one run over his last 20 innings heading into the ALCS after tossing six scoreless innings against the Twins during the ALDS.
Outside of Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe, most of the heavy hitters in the Texas lineup have a poor track record in their careers when facing Verlander. The Rangers are also facing a long layoff between the end of the ALDS and the start of the ALCS on Sunday. That could cool off what has been the hottest team during the playoffs, especially if they have to face Verlander. Likewise, the Astros have a talented lineup and boast tons of postseason experience. Houston figures to be better prepared to handle the moment and win Game 1 of the ALCS.
Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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