Texas Rangers

Detroit Tigers beat Justin Verlander, Houston Astros and biggest Vegas odds in years

Against Astros lineup, ‘if you make mistakes, they make you pay’

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Mike Minor battles back after allowing three consecutive home runs in the third inning to outlast Astros starter Justin Verlander.
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Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Mike Minor battles back after allowing three consecutive home runs in the third inning to outlast Astros starter Justin Verlander.

We have another shining example of why sports betting is a fool’s game.

The Houston Astros were -518 favorites to beat the Detroit Tigers Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park. That’s the heaviest favorite in at least 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum, who cited sports betting database BetLabsSports.com with the data.

The Tigers were +451 at the 7:10 p.m. first pitch.

But the Tigers beat the long odds and the Astros 2-1 on a night former wrestling star Ric Flair threw out the first pitch.

It’s easy to see why the first-place Astros (81-46) were such heavy favorites. Multi-Cy Young winner Justin Verlander was pitching against the last-place Detroit Tigers (37-86) and Daniel Norris, who entered the game 3-10 with a 4.82 ERA in 22 starts.

Verlander was his usual dominant self, striking out 11 and holding the Tigers to two hits in a complete game. The only problem, however, was the two hits were solo home runs, including John Hicks’ game-winning homer in the ninth.

Verlander has allowed a league-high 33 homers, which is a career high.

Norris pitched the first three innings and held the Astros scoreless on two hits before making way for former TCU standout Tyler Alexander. Alexander held the Astros to one run on three hits, including a solo homer by Robinson Chirinos in the seventh. Buck Farmer and Joe Jimenez pitched scoreless eight and ninth innings for Detroit to earn the win and save.

And helped make what seemed like a sure bet a big upset.

Texas Rangers left-hander Brock Burke held the Los Angeles Angels scoreless on four hits over six innings in his MLB debut Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.
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