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    Astros vs. Rangers Friday ALCS Game 5 odds, trends, props: Bettors backing Justin Verlander in rematch against Jordan Montgomery

    The ALCS is tied 2-2 with Game 5 this afternoon from Texas.
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    The home team is yet to win the in the 2023 American League Championship Series between the Astros and Rangers entering Friday's Game 5 from Arlington, which could be the final home game of the year for Texas, especially if it loses to fall down 3-2 ahead of the series returning to Houston. It's a rematch of Game 1 between Justin Verlander and Jordan Montgomery, and the lean is decidedly on the visitors as it was in the first two games in Texas. Click here for model picks.

    This is the seventh best-of-seven series in MLB history to have the road team win each of the first four games, with the most recent being the 2019 World Series (Astros vs. Nationals) when the road team won all seven. The only previous LCS to have the road club team win the first four was in 1993 when Toronto won the first two of the ALCS at Chicago, and the White Sox won the next two north of the border. The Jays won the series in six. Teams that win Game 4 to tie a seven-game series at 2-2 have gone on to win the series 31 of 65 times (47.6%), including eight of 19 in the LCS (42.1%).

    At DraftKings, Houston is a slight -105 underdog but taking 73% of the the money and 62% of the bets. DK still has the Astros at +1.5, but not all other books do at this point. The Astros are taking a slight majority lean on the run line. On the total of 9, there's almost an even split on the Over and Under.

    It's rather interesting the total is 9 considering that when Verlander and Montgomery faced off in the opener, Texas won 2-0. The teams combined for just 13 hits and 15 strikeouts.

    The Rangers likely are not in the ALCS without their acquisition of Montgomery at the trade deadline from St. Louis. He's set for free agency and has made himself millions of dollars this postseason at 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three starts. Dating to a Sept. 13 start in Toronto, Montgomery has allowed more than one earned run just once in seven starts, which was Game 2 of the ALDS in Baltimore when he surrendered four earned over four, but his offense bailed him out.

    Montgomery is set at over/nder 1.5 earned runs, 5.5 hits allowed and 16.5 outs recorded. He's +180 for a win tonight. Jose Altuve has gone nuts the past two games at the plate for Houston but is 5-for-17 (all singles) with four strikeouts in the regular season off Montgomery. The equally hot Yordan Alvarez is 1-for-6 off him with five Ks.

    Texas had been unbeaten in these playoffs before losing the past two at home by a combined score of 18-8, and now Houston is the -135 series favorite for the first time since entering Game 1 with the Rangers at +115. Philadelphia is the +155 World Series favorite, but that certainly would change if the Phillies lose Game 4 in Arizona and Houston (+195) wins here.

    Houston was miles better on the road than at home in the regular season and that has completely carried over to the playoffs, and it's astounding how dominant they have been at Globe Life Field. During a seven-game winning streak there (8-1 overall in 2023), the Astros are outscoring the Rangers 74-32.

    Verlander took a tough-luck loss in Game 1 and is 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA in two starts this postseason. Today will be 38th career postseason appearance, and the future Hall of Famer has 3.51 ERA across 220 1/3 innings. He is 5-4 with a 2.29 ERA in his past 10 ALCS starts, allowing two earned runs or fewer in eight. Verlander is 22-10 with a 2.74 ERA in 38 career starts vs. Texas, including the playoffs.

    The three-time Cy Young Award winner has O/U totals of 1.5 earned runs, 5.5 hits allowed and 16.5 outs recorded and is +225 to win. The one Rangers batter to give him some career regular-season trouble is Marcus Semien, who is a .304 hitter vs. Verlander with two homers, a double and triple in 46 at-bats. Semien is +350 go to yard on Friday.

    One huge takeaway from the Astros' blowout Game 4 was that after using all three of his high-leverage relievers -- Hector Neris, Bryan Abreu and closer Ryan Pressly – in Game 3, Manager Dusty Baker didn't have to use any of them Thursday.

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