The Baltimore Orioles will head to Arlington, Texas Thursday for game one of a four-game series with the Rangers in a matchup between two last place teams. Both teams will be without several of their best players as both teams held fire sales at the trade deadline earlier this week. We talk a lot about the competing teams that made moves to help push for the playoffs, well this is what teams look like that got picked clean at the deadline.
Starting tonight for the Rangers is Yovani Gallardo (5-1 6.26 ERA), and for the Orioles, it is Andrew Cashner (3-9 4.33 ERA). The Rangers are big -147 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at ten and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM PST from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
Yovani Gallardo has one of the stranger stat lines in recent memory for a starter. The guy is 5-1, which is great, but has an ERA of 6.26, which is terrible. The Rangers picked up Gallardo from the Cincinnati Reds mid-season and since being thrown into the Rangers rotation, all this guy does is win.
In seven starts with Texas, the Rangers are 6-1 when Gallardo starts. Gallardo has been a recipient of some huge run support from Texas. In his seven starts for Texas, the Rangers have scored a borderline absurd, sixty runs in support of Gallardo. That is over eight and a half runs a game. No wonder the guy can’t lose! In his last two starts, Gallardo has actually pitched well as he has shutout both the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros, two of the best teams in the American League. Throw in the fact that his team scored him sixteen runs of support in those two games, and you have a recipe for success. The Rangers won both games.
Andrew Cashner is another guy that has really struggled at times this season. Cashner, in the first half of the season, was likely one of the worst starters in the American League. Even on a team that was clearly selling anything that wasn’t nailed down at the trade deadline, and in a market that was starved of starting pitching talent, nobody wanted to make a move for Cashner. He has just been too bad this season.
He has shown some signs of life in the second half of the year as he has had an ERA right around three and a half runs which is more than respectable playing in the American League East that is full of powerful offenses. Cashner has allowed three runs or fewer in eight out of his last nine starts.
I won’t bet a side on a game between two completely non-competing teams down the stretch. There are just way too many factors that can be hard to predict when neither team cares about winning. But where I will take a stance is on the game total. At a glance, this seems to be a sure-fire bet on the over, two bad pitchers, two bad teams.
But when you dig a little deeper, you might just change your mind. The Baltimore Orioles have been one of the worst offensive teams in the majors this season, and that was before this recent trade deadline that saw them trade away two of their best hitters in Manny Machado and Johnathan Schoop. Not many teams can see the heart of their order ripped out and continue to produce runs.
The Rangers have been a team that has scored runs all year long, especially when Gallardo pitches and that does worry me just a bit. But with the way that Gallardo has pitched over his last two starts, he might not give up a run. On the season, his numbers have been terrible, but he has dialed it in recently and shut down some good teams. Now he is facing an awful Orioles lineup that just had two of their best hitters traded away, they might not score tonight.
Everybody is on the over in this game. It opened at ten runs and has moved to ten and a half at -125 on the over. Which means that it is likely to be adjusted to eleven runs at some point. I tend to like to be on the other side of everybody, as everybody tends to lose a lot! I don’t think the Orioles are going to score many runs tonight and when you have a double-digit total, you need both teams to score.
And as bad as Andrew Cashner was in the first half of the season, the guy has actually been decent the last two months. Nobody notices because he plays for the worst team in the majors, but the guy hasn’t really been that bad. So, I will position myself on the other side of the public in this one and expect a lower scoring game than most. Give me the under ten and a half runs at +105 tonight in game one!