Another day, another money line underdog winner! We picked up the win last night when we backed the Philadelphia Phillies against the Baltimore Orioles. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why a first-place Phillies team would be getting dog money against the Orioles who have the worst record in the major leagues. So, I fired on Philly and figured I must be getting the best of it. And that turned out to certainly be the case as the Phillies won the game and we cashed our ticket.
The game wasn’t as close as the 5-4 final score shows as Philly jumped out to a 5-0 lead early and coasted into the win. The Orioles were fairly lucky to keep it as close as it was as their starter, Kevin Gausman, got really hammered. All told, Gausman gave up twelve hits and five runs in five innings of work. It could have been even worse as the Phillies threatened to score in just about every inning.
I guess we will chalk this one up to yet another bad number. I doubt it will happen again this year, but if you ever see a first-place team getting dog money against the worst team in the majors again, you would be keen to jump all over it. For today’s game, I am going to stay right here in Baltimore for game one of a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers are in Baltimore Friday for game one of a three-game series with the Orioles. The Rangers hold the dubious distinction of being the “best” last place team in the American League. The Rangers are 40-54, which is significantly better than the two other last place AL teams, the Orioles, and the Royals, who both only have twenty-six wins, but that likely doesn’t make them feel much better about themselves. As the trade deadline approaches, both teams are expected to ship off several key players.
One of those guys that is rumored to be traded soon is tonight’s starter for the Rangers, Cole Hamels (4-8 4.28 ERA). The Orioles will counter with Alex Cobb (2-11 6.67 ERA). The Rangers are small -115 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Cole Hamels has been pretty awful in his last couple of starts. In his last two starts, he has given up ten runs in five and two-thirds of an inning. And it has been against the White Sox and the Tigers, not exactly the toughest competition. Maybe Hamels is just tanking, so he doesn’t get traded? He had been pretty solid all season long before his last couple of rough outings and he has been the topic of a lot of trade discussion recently. This could very well be his final start in a Rangers uniform as he is rumored to be headed to several different places, with the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners leading the pack in the Hamels sweepstakes. If Hamels ever had the chance to look good, it’s against this abysmal Baltimore offense that is near the bottom of all offensive categories this season.
Alex Cobb is another guy that could get traded at the deadline, but he has been so awful that is becoming more and more unlikely by the day. On the season, Cobb has eleven losses, the most in the American League. Had he pitched enough innings to qualify, his 6.67 ERA would be the highest of all starters in the AL. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that Cobb has been the worst pitcher in the American League this year. And even with that terrible performance, he may still be on the move as the league is starting pitching starved right now and teams are getting desperate.
Both of these teams are about to get ripped apart. Don’t be shocked if both of tonight’s starters are pitching for different teams their next time out. But all that being said, I really think the Rangers are clearly the side to back in this game. Hamels had been good most of the year before slipping up recently, and everyone looks good against the Orioles, so I expect him to be back to form at least somewhat tonight.
And even if he stinks, Alex Cobb is likely to be even worse. That guy just can’t stop getting shelled, and the Orioles are 3-13 in his sixteen starts this season. Despite the fact that it hasn’t really converted to a lot of wins this season, this Rangers offense is actually decent. They are in the top half of all major league teams in runs scored, on pace percentage, and home runs. I see Cobb getting knocked around early and often tonight.
So, it might end up being a slugfest, but I like the Rangers tonight. Only having to lay such a small price to get to fade the worst team in the majors looks pretty sweet to me. Give me the Texas Rangers as small road favorites tonight in game one from Baltimore at -115.