Well, I keep waiting for this Texas Rangers lineup, that is full of veteran sluggers, to start slugging, and as of yesterday, the bats are still ice cold in Arlington. I backed the Rangers yesterday as small home favorites against the Arizona Diamondbacks, as I felt that they were due to break out at the plate, and that a matchup against DBacks starter Merrill Kelly, a guy who led the National League in losses last year, was as good of a time as any to do so.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 29, 2020
Yeah, I got that one wrong. Kelly took a no-hitter deep into the game, and finished his day with 7.2 innings pitched, allowing just one run on only three hits. Kyle Gibson was a bit of a sore luck loser as bad fielding cost him three unearned runs in the first inning, and the Rangers never could get anything going on offense to bail him out.
The Rangers are now four games into this season, and Texas has managed to score just six total runs. That is currently the lowest total in the Major Leagues. Ouch. For today’s daily betting pick, we will stay right here in Arlington as the Rangers look to avoid the sweep in game two against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona Diamondbacks (2-3) at Texas Rangers (1-3)
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Texas Wednesday, looking for the two-game sweep of the Rangers. The DBacks took game one last night, and after starting out their season by losing their first two games, Arizona has rebounded to win two out of their last three and would love to sweep the Rangers today on the road.
For Texas, the Rangers have really struggled out of the gate as they are just 1-3 and can’t find any run production at the plate. Entering play today, the Rangers are dead last in the Majors in runs scored, slugging, batting average, and on-base percentage. Texas will look to earn a series split today in game two.
Starting for the Rangers is Lance Lynn (1-0 0.00 ERA) and for the DBacks it is Madison Bumgarner (0-1 4.76 ERA). The Rangers are again small home field favorites at -120. The game total over/under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 PM PST from Globe Life Park in Arlington.
After a rough first couple of days to the 2020 MLB season, the Arizona DBacks have seemingly found their stride as of late. I know it sounds crazy to react to a five-game sample size of baseball games, but after today’s game, Arizona’s sixth of the year, they will have completed 10% of their schedule. Two series isn’t a lot to go off of, but in this shortened season, we have to start evaluating teams right away.
The DBacks are finding ways to win games, but it certainly hasn’t been because of their bats, as similar to the Rangers, this team just can’t hit right now. Arizona is hitting just .204 as a team, and despite playing one more game than several teams, are last in the league in home runs, with just one bomb in five games played.
We all knew coming into the season that the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres would be tough in the NL West, but after a week’s worth of games, it looks like the entire division is going to be at least respectable, as the NL West has more combined wins than any other division in baseball. If Arizona wants to stay in the hunt out west, they are going to have to take advantage of soft spots in the schedule like today’s game against a struggling Rangers team.
Madison Bumgarner (0-1 4.73 ERA)
The Arizona Diamondbacks brought in Madison Bumgarner in the offseason to be the ace of their starting rotation and lead this team to the playoffs. And while his first start didn’t go all that well, as he picked up a loss in his Opening Day start, he is absolutely the guy the DBacks need this year as they look to break through for another deep postseason run.
While he did lose on Opening Day, he actually pitched really well most of the day, as he was throwing a two-hit shutout through five innings of work. He couldn’t escape the sixth inning though, as Eric Hosmer tagged him with a 3-RBI double to break the game open and end his night.
Bumgarner battled injuries for most of 2017 and 2018, which led some people to thinking he might be done being an elite pitcher, but last year he showed he still had plenty left in the gas tank if he can stay healthy, as he finished the season with a sub-four run ERA and over 200 strike outs.
What is going on in Texas right now? This team was a dark horse candidate to win the AL pennant just a couple of weeks ago, but as of right now, they look destined to finish in last place. The team just can’t hit the baseball, as they have yet to score more than two runs in any game this season, and their lone win on the year came in a 1-0 game.
And when you look at this lineup, they have so many established veteran hitters that it is hard to contemplate just how bad they have been. Joey Gallo is a 40+ home run monster, and Elvis Andrus, Shin-soo Choo, Todd Frazier, and Robinson Chirinos are all former All-Stars that can hit the ball.
It doesn’t make sense that this team is struggling so badly at the dish, but all I can say is that baseball is a streaky game, and rough patches happen. The Rangers must find a way to snap out of this funk and ASAP, if they don’t want to see their once promising season go up in smoke.
Lance Lynn (1-0 0.00 ERA)
When longtime St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher, Lance Lynn, left the NL to jump to the AL in 2018, he did not enjoy much success. In 2018, a season split between the Yankees and the Twins, Lynn’s ERA was over a full run higher than any season he had in the NL, and some people thought that his days of being an All-Star level pitcher, like he was with the Cards, were over, if he stayed in the harder hitting American League.
Well, he put all that talk to rest last season, when he posted the best season of his career, and finished in the top five of the AL Cy Young Award voting. Last season with Texas, Lynn won 16 games and posted a 3.67 ERA while striking out a career high 246 batters. In his first start of this season, he picked up right where he left off from last year, as he dazzled on Opening Day, pitching six shutout innings, while allowing just two hits and striking out nine against the Colorado Rockies. As of right now, that is the only game the Rangers have won all season.
Who Do I Like?
I don’t know who wins this game, but I do know that neither team is going to score too many runs. Both of these teams have been awful at the plate, as combined, they have had seven of their nine total games played, where they scored two runs or fewer. And its not like they were facing monsters on the mound like Max Scherzer or Clayton Kershaw.
Pop quiz, what does this folllwing list of names all have in common? Dinelson Lamet, Joey Lucchesi, German Marquez, Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and Merrill Kelly. If you answered that they all have shutdown either the Rangers or DBacks this season, you are correct! None of those guys are on the level of Madison Bumgarner or Lance Lynn, and I expect this game to be very low scoring.
I am taking the under in this one. I would expect both Bumgarner and Lynn to be good, and even if they do throw some pitches to hit, I can’t trust either of these teams to actually make contact. This game has 3-2 written all over it. Give me the under eight and a half runs today on get-away day in Texas!