What a difference a few days can make. Not long ago, the Houston Astros were considered the top dogs to take down the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series. Thanks to a brilliant close to the regular season, Houston was not only able to make the playoffs, but they also ended up winning the AL West. However, things have changed in a big way out west, as the Rangers are now the favorites to win the ALCS over the Astros.
Who in the world saw this coming? Houston had all the momentum leading up to Game 1, but the Rangers were able to pull off a stunning 2-0 win at Minute Maid Park during the first game of the seven-game set. Now, all of the pressure is back on the Astros and that’s not good news for them. To make matters worse for the AL West champs, slugger Yordan Alvarez is dealing with an illness. That’s not ideal for Houston. Texas is feeling good right now and understandably so.
|MLB ALCS odds|
|Rangers to win||-210||-210||-210|
|Astros to win||+175||+175||+175|
|Over 6 games||-110||-110||-110|
|Under 6 games||-110||-110||-110|
“We just found a way to get a couple of runs across the board,” Texas Rangers manager Bochy said after the improbable Game 1 win for his squad. “That was the difference in the game, obviously. But our guy was really good, Monty, terrific job he did. And he got in a couple of jams there and found a way to get out of it.”
Now that the Rangers know what it takes to top the Astros, they could end up booking a trip to the World Series. According to the best-rated sportsbooks, including the reliable Bovada review, the Rangers hold -210 MLB betting odds to win the ALCS and move on. The Astros are now the underdogs, which no one was expecting, with their +175 odds. Plenty of people think the Astros will be eliminated soon, but we don’t think that will prove to be the case.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) October 11, 2023
The Astros are our pick to win the ALCS and keep their season going
Call it a gut feeling, but we’re going with the Astros as our pick to win the ALCS and keep their season going. This team has a winning pedigree and they know what it takes to come out on top when people are doubting them. Last year, the Astros faced plenty of adversity and had a ton of people calling them out for terrible play. However, they were able to block the noise and win another World Series.
We’re not saying this is going to end up being a walk in the park for them, but they’re simply too talented to back down and just take their lumps without fighting back. Houston has the home-field advantage for this series, which could prove to be crucial. Yes, they didn’t have the series go as planned, but once they make their way to Arlington for the games against the Rangers, we won’t be surprised at all if they scrape out some tough wins.
Texas Showdown. pic.twitter.com/dYo6FEg9Wh
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 13, 2023
This could set up a monster final two games in the series back in Houston if Game 6 and Game 7 are needed. Imagine if this series goes the full seven games, with it being played at Minute Maid Park. The home fans in Houston are going to bring the noise and make life tough for the Rangers. Houston is used to playing in this kind of tough environment, but these Rangers players could get rattled.
Houston has an amazing amount of experience both for their hitters and their starting pitching. Again, the start to the series was rough, but the Astros now know what it takes to bounce back from some adversity. The Rangers are looking to keep the momentum going, but Houston is going to prove they have the clutch gene in them. We’re going with the Astros as our pick to win the series, as they should take care of business later this month to wrap it up.
Astros don’t hold inspiring odds to repeat as the champions
While we do think Houston will win the ALCS, it’s important to keep in mind that the Astros don’t hold inspiring odds to repeat as champions. Houston, as of this writing, actually holds the third-best World Series betting odds behind the Phillies and Rangers, while they’re just in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The fact of the matter here is that Philly looks tough to beat.
The Phillies instantly became the World Series betting favorites after they were able to stun the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. Just about everyone assumed that Atlanta would cruise to a title this year, but Philly had other ideas. Led by the incredible play of Bryce Harper, the NL East side has an incredible amount of confidence and the City of Brotherly Love is ready to celebrate in style.
If the Astros and Phillies were to meet in the World Series again, it would make for an epic series. This time around, though, the expectation would be for the Phillies to come out on top and for Harper to win World Series MVP. From our chair, we think the Phillies are playing too strong right now to be beaten. They’re our pick to capture the glory.