Major League Baseball returns on Thursday with only one game on the schedule in Texas. Things will return to normal Friday when everyone gets back to action. The first-half is done with and it’s time for the contenders and pretenders to show their faces. One of the most notable teams on the contender-pretender pendulum are the Texas Rangers.
They surprised everyone, including themselves, with a hot run in the first-half. 2019 was supposed to be a peg in the rebuilding process in Arlington for the Rangers. They’ve sped that process up and have their eyes on reaching the postseason. Not a bad deal for the organization. Having said that, tough decisions are on the horizon for management.
There are a lot of guys on the roster that are at the peak of their trade value. Mike Minor especially is being garnering attention from teams around the majors. The Rangers are not going to see his trade value this high. That likely goes for Lance Lynn as well, who they’d be able to fetch a nice haul for.
The Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL were in sort of a similar position this past year. They had all of these trade pieces that they could have made deals with, but chose to bring in more talent and make a run in the playoffs. All of those guys are now signed with other teams, while the Blue Jackets were left with a playoff exit against the Bruins in the second-round.
Was it worth it? If I’m the Rangers I would be staying with the original plan and looking at the future. In any event, this season has made the Rangers a tremendous bet at the sportsbook. The oddsmakers haven’t respected them much, allowing savvy bettors to take advantage of nice odds. Texas are 9 games behind the Astros for 1st in the NL West at 48-42. However, just 3 games out of a wildcard slot in the American League.
Even though they’re that close, it’s still a long way to go. Failing to sell at the deadline and missing out completely, or losing in the Wild Card Game, would be a bust. Lance Lynn might be on another team soon, and he will get an opportunity against Framber Valdez and the Houston Astros this evening. Head below for our free Astros vs. Rangers pick.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Lance Lynn had a heck of an under the radar career in St. Louis with the Cardinals. He wasn’t on an elite scale, but he was better than given credit for. In six seasons there, the highest ERA he had was in 2013 with an ERA of 3.97, so nothing above 4.00 in his career as a Card. As soon as he went to Minnesota, his career took a dive for the worst.
However, since going to the Yankees and now the Rangers, Lynn has been able to show that he can still pitch. It may have just been he never felt right in Minnesota. Lynn enters the second-half of the 2019 season with an ERA of 3.91 and 1.22 WHIP. He has yet to lose at home, a perfect record of 7-0 in Arlington.
Part of that is due to the offense that he has operating in his corner. The Rangers 6th with 5.39 runs scored per game, which includes 5.65 runs scored per contest in Arlington. Also favorable for Lynn tonight is the lineup he is pitching against. The ‘Stros are good, but he’s been sharp, holding them to a .203 batting average and just 5 runs in 59 at-bats. Heading into tonight, he’s allowed only 2 runs in his previous 15 innings pitched as well.
Valdez, on the other hand, was shoddy leading up to the All-Star break. He allowed 11 earned runs and 12 hits in 6.1 innings of work. In his previous three outings, Valdez posted an ERA of 9.49 and 1.78 WHIP. On the road, he hasn’t been too reliable, with an ERA of 5.09 and 1.58 WHIP, or at least not enough to be a -140 favorite in my eyes. This looks like a spot where the Rangers are pretty nice value at home in the first game of the second-half.