The Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers are set to meet at Globe Life Field for three days this weekend. The Rangers are coming off a nice three-game stretch against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. They beat the Rays 8-3, 5-1, and 6-4 in extras last night. Rich Hill, who looks like he has a dead arm, was throttled for 7 hits, 2 walks, and 4 earned runs through 4.1 innings. The Rays tied the game up in the bottom of the 7th to force extras against the Rangers at the Trop on Friday, but credit the Rangers for hanging in there, and netting 2 runs in the top of the 10th to put the Rays away.
The Rangers moved from 3-7 on the season to 6-7 in just three days. They’re tied with the Oakland Athletics at 6-7 on the season. The Astros join the Rangers and Athletics with six wins at 6-6. It’s been a decent stretch for the Rangers, but it’s hard to see them being contenders in the AL West. The one surprise has been the Seattle Mariners who are off to a 8-5 season. We’ve seen this before with the Mariners, so don’t get too excited in Seattle. They have provided a lot of hope early and faded in the second-half. The Mariners are already down a pitcher in their rotation with the loss of James Paxton.
If not the Mariners, who is winning the AL West? This is another wide open division in Major League Baseball. There are four teams that could win the division. The Mariners are certainly the up and coming team. Despite what I just said about the Mariners faltering down the stretch in the past, the future appears bright in Seattle for the Mariners. Enough about the Mainers, though, how about the Orioles and Rangers who are both going to go through growing pains this year.
Baltimore is sitting at the bottom of the AL East, and will likely stay there this season. They finished last year with a record of 25-35 in the division. The Red Sox quit altogether last season, so they did even worse than the Orioles with a mark of 24-36. Don’t bank on that happening again, as the Red Sox are back to putting effort in, while the Orioles are still in rebuild mode. Baltimore goes into tonight with a record of 5-8 following a 2-1 loss against the Mariners at Camden Yards yesterday.
The Mariners took three of four games against the O’s. Baltimore is expected to send former Royal, Jorge Lopez, to the bump on Friday evening in Texas. This is a big season for Lopez. He struggled in Kansas City to find consistency, and it’s hard to believe he’ll have a job in the majors next season if it continues in Baltimore. Former Brave, Mike Foltynewicz, is expected to get the call for the Rangers at Globe Life Field. Head below for our free Orioles vs. Rangers pick on April 16, 2021.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Texas Rangers MLB Betting Odds:
Orioles vs. Rangers Prediction:
I don’t know how much longer Jorge Lopez has left in the major leagues, but he’s lucky that a team was desperate for a filler in their rotation. Lopez has recorded an ERA of 6.23 and 1.51 WHIP through 71 games in his career since 2015. He showed some promise in 2018 out of the bullpen as a reliever with the Brewers for ten games. Lopez posted an ERA of 2.75 and 1.47 WHIP, though that’s the only successful stretch that he’s had in his career.
In six starts and three appearances out of the bullpen with the Orioles last season, Lopez notched an ERA of 6.34 and 1.43 WHIP after being traded from the Royals. Lopez recorded a 27.00 ERA and 4.50 WHIP in one start with the Royals before getting shipped out to Baltimore. Combined in 2020, Lopez posted a 6.69 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. This is a year after Lopez had a 6.33 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 2019. Lopez has gotten off to a familiar start in 2021. He’s gotten nailed for a 11.42 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in 8.2 innings this season.
Lopez gave up 3 hits and 4 earned runs against the Yankees through 4.2 innings, and then struggled versus the Red Sox with 8 hits and 7 earned runs allowed in 4 innings of work. Depending on strong run support from the offense probably isn’t going to be wise for Lopez and the pitching staff in this one. The Orioles are hitting just .218 for 25th in the majors, and 26th with only 0.97 home runs recorded per game. Mike Foltynewicz may not be able to duplicate the 2.85 ERA he recorded in 2018, but he still has enough zip on the ball to contribute in the Rangers’ rotation.
Foltynewicz has been excellent against this Baltimore lineup in his career. He’s held the O’s to a batting average of .161 and 2 home runs through 50 at-bats. Foltynewicz was slow in his 2021 debut against the Blue Jays, allowing 4 hits and 4 earned runs in 4 innings. However, he responded nicely through 7 innings versus the Padres. Foltynewicz conceded just 2 hits and 1 earned runs against a dangerous Padres’ offense. The Padres hit .158 against Folty in that contest. It’s really hard to like Lopez over Foltynewicz in Arlington on Friday night.