We picked up a split on yesterday’s action as we took the Arizona Diamondbacks and the over in their game against the Philadelphia Phillies. These two teams combined for a Major League record thirteen home runs in game one of this series, and I had a feeling that bats would still be swinging last night, so the over was a no brainer. And in a game where runs are going to be fairly easy to come by, I felt the game could go either way and decided to jump on the DBacks, getting a bunch of dog money.
And the game went much as I thought it would, as runs were coming early and often, and this game hit the over by the fifth inning. It ended up coasting well over, with a 7-4 final score. The problem is, the Phillies were the team that swung the heavier bat last night, as they picked up the win. I don’t mind breaking even in spots like this one, as the upside of when we nail both is so much higher than the downside is when we pick up the split. Sometimes the variance is going to bite us, but it was a sound value play.
The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for Arizona, and despite surging up the standing recently, they are still a whopping nine games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West Division. For Philly, with the win, they managed to keep pace with the streaking Atlanta Braves in the National League East Division. The Braves have won eight out of their last ten games, and just made a blockbuster move to sign former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Kuechel. If Philly wants to hang with Atlanta, they are going to need to bolster their rotation ASAP. For today’s pick, I will head over to the American League where the Boston Red Sox host the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers are in Boston Wednesday trying to make it three straight wins over the Red Sox. The Rangers took the first two games of this four-game series and will be looking for the series win tonight in Beantown. The Rangers have been playing some really good baseball recently as they have won eight out of their eleven games in the month of June.
And that comes on the heels of finishing May by winning eleven out of their last fifteen. While the expectations were low for this Rangers team coming into the season, they are now six games over .500, and if the season ended today, they would make the playoffs as the second wild card in the American League. It might be hard to believe, but this team just might be for real.
For the Red Sox, the defending champs have had a tumultuous season that saw them start out awful, and then start to figures things out in May, only to once again be struggling here in June where they have lost five out of their last six games. The eye test tells us that this Red Sox team is till chalked full of talent, but right now they are in third place in their division, eight games behind both the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees.
Starting for the Red Sox is Rick Porcello (4-6 4.86 ERA), and for the Rangers, it is Lance Lynn (7-4 4.39 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. The Red Sox are -143 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PST from Fenway Park in Boston.
There was a time not all that long ago where Rick Porcello was one of the best pitchers in the American League. The former Cy Young Award winner has had a great career and is still just thirty year’s old, but I think the best times are behind Porcello at this point. These days Porcello is more of an innings eater, that can rack up lots of wins behind this powerful Boston offense, by just being mediocre.
His season started off about as poorly as possibly, as through his first two starts he was 0-2 with an ERA of 13.50. He settled down a lot after that, but in his last three starts, he has once again started to really struggle. In his last three starts he has given up fourteen runs. In the month of June, he is 0-2 with a 7.59 ERA. One has to wonder just how well Porcello will fair today against this surprisingly good Texas offense.
The Rangers are currently second in the majors in runs scored and top ten in both batting average and on-base percentage. Despite the lack of star power in Arlington, this team can downright hit the baseball. Lance Lynn has been a recipient of some of that great run support as the Rangers have scored him double-digit runs in four different starts already this season.
Lance Lynn has done a surprisingly great job of getting deep into games of the Texas Rangers this season. Lynn has pitched into the sixth inning, or deeper, in twelve of his thirteen starts this year. And when you compare those stats to last year, his first ever season in the AL after spending his entire career in the NL, he has been a pleasant surprise for this overachieving Rangers squad. He seems to have figured things out recently as in his last six starts he has produced a quality start in every game.
I smell upset today in Boston. The Rangers are red-hot, and the Red Sox are struggling to just stay above .500. While in a vacuum, I still think this Red Sox team is the much more talented team, that didn’t help them in the first two games of this series, and it’s not going to help them tonight. I think the Rangers hot bats get to Porcello and run him from the game before the sixth, and Lance Lynn has proven time and again that he can get you six or seven strong innings. Give me the Texas Rangers as big road underdogs today in game three from Boston!