The Minnesota Twins jumped all over the Texas Rangers early last night and didn’t let up until it was a 6-0 game in the 2nd inning. They tacked on another run to make it a 7-zilch game in the 4th. Then things got out of control to a 9-0 game shortly thereafter.
The Rangers didn’t come to play and they paid for it with a crucial loss. In any event, the fact that we’re talking about the Rangers playing in important games is impressive in its own right. Who would have thought that the Rangers were going to be playing meaningful baseball this season?
Even their own management didn’t believe too much in their ability. The mindset going into this season was to have another rebuilding year and think about fielding a competitive team in two years. While there is work to be done between now and then, the Rangers have seemed to speed up the process in 2019. They got pounded into submission last night, but still have a nice record of 47-41. That might put them way behind the Astros, though they are in the picture for a wildcard.
This season is giving the Rangers a good problem to have. The original plan was to sell at the deadline and get better for the future. Now that they’re within reaching distance of a wildcard, they are left in a predicament. It’s not a terrible situation of course, as they’ve exceeded expectations.
The front office is just going to have to weigh their options. If it’s me, I would stay the course and focus on the future. They’re laying down a solid foundation and shouldn’t risk gambling on the Wild Card Game. Jesse Chavez has been on point out of the bullpen and as a starter this season.
He’s been around since 2008 and would possibly make for good trade bait. There haven’t been any strong rumors about moving him, though, so the Rangers likely aren’t parting ways. Chavez gets the nod on Saturday, with Michael Pineda countering for the Twins. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Twins pick.
Texas Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Jesse Chavez has spent team in the bullpen and as a starter. He’s handled it well and pitched well in both roles. His career has been all over the place, with a rather disjointed portfolio. Chavez has had some excellent seasons, sprinkled in with downright awful seasons. 2019 has been pretty nice to him, as he will look to improve on a 2.97 ERA going into Minnesota on Saturday. Chavez has made six starts overall, and three since June 14th. In 15.1 innings, Chavez allowed just 3 runs, all of which came on the road. That was good for an ERA of 1.76, 0.72 WHIP, and .203 OBA.
He’s had a quality arm on the road, posting a 1.95 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 32.1 innings. The Rangers got hammered for 15 runs last night against the Twins. However, things should settle down on Saturday for them. The Texas offense has been playing above expectations all season, averaging 5.41 runs per game for 6th in the major leagues. That’s better than the Dodgers, Cubs, Astros, and Phillies. When your pitching allowed 15 runs, it doesn’t really matter what happens at the dish for the offense, however.
Michael Pineda toes the rubber for the 17th time this season, which matches last season. He’s dealt with injuries constantly throughout his career and getting to No. 17 before the All-Star Game is a win for Pineda. He’s been serviceable enough to have in the Twins’ rotation, as he possesses a 4.78 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Pineda carries an ERA of 4.68 with a 1.11 WHIP and .281 OBA at home. I understand why the Twins are favorites here, but -160 looks way too steep. Catching a nice price of +140, I’d take a chance on the Rangers to respond after stumbling on Friday night.