It is a great day for baseball as we have a full slate of action on tap to kick off what should be an exciting weekend of Major League Baseball. Headlining games include a matchup with first place on the line between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves. A rivalry game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. And a freeway series game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Angels. For our daily betting pick, we will head to Colorado, where the Rockies host the Texas Rangers.
Texas Rangers (8-9) at Colorado Rockies (12-6)
The Texas Rangers are heating up as they just finished up their recent home stand by winning five out of six games, and they take their show on the road tonight, hoping to keep up that momentum against a Colorado Rockies team that is in first place. The Rangers had a slow start to the season but seem to be hitting their stride as of late, and if the season were to end today, they would qualify for the playoffs in the American League West.
For Colorado, the Rockies surprised just about everybody with their hot start to the season as they jumped out to an 11-3 record. They have cooled off just a bit recently though, as they have lost three out of their last four games and are coming off of their first series loss of the season in their last series, losing two out of three games to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Starting tonight for the Rangers is Lance Lynn (2-0 1.16 ERA), and for the Rockies, it is Ryan Castellani (0-0 0.00 ERA). The game total over/under is set at twelve and a half runs. The Rangers are -120 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 PM PST from Coors Field in Colorado.
I was high on the Texas Rangers coming into this season, but they started slow, losing eight out of their first eleven games. The injury to Cory Kluber, the guy they brought in to lead their pitching staff in the offseason, was a devastating blow to Texas, and it looked like the season was over before it even really got started for the Rangers.
But Texas has shown a lot of heart here recently, as they are finding ways to gut out wins, and there is some optimism that Kluber could be returning before the end of the season. The Rangers aren’t hitting for power yet this season, but when you look at their lineup that is chalked full of veteran sluggers like Joey Gallo, Todd Frazier, Elvis Andrus, and Shin-Soo Choo, you would have to expect this team to start hitting sooner rather than later.
Lance Lynn (2-0 1.16 ERA)
Heading into 2020, the Rangers had what looked like the most underrated rotation in the American League. Both Lance Lynn and Mike Minor finished in the top ten of the AL Cy Young Award vote last year, and we all know what three-time award winner Cory Kluber has been able to do in his career. That gave the Rangers a three-headed monster on the mound, that was supposed to be very good.
But Kluber went down with a sore shoulder after just one inning pitched, and Mike Minor has been awful as he is 0-3 in four starts with an ERA of 5.49. One guy that has lived up to the hype though has been Lance Lynn.
Lynn has made four starts this season for Texas and is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA. He has 30 K’s in just 23.1 innings pitched and has led the Rangers to wins in three out of his four starts. He has struggled a bit with his control, as he has racked up a somewhat concerning 12 walks already, but it hasn’t resulted in many runs hitting the board for opposing teams.
Are the Rockies finally coming back to earth? Most expected the National League West to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball this year as the Dodgers, Padres, and DBacks were all expected to contend for the postseason. But not many people expected the Rockies to be leading the way a quarter of the way through the regular season.
But here we are, with Colorado sitting in first place, and holding the second-best winning percentage in the National League entering play tonight at home. The Rockies are getting things done at the plate, as they lead all of baseball with a team batting average of a sizzling .284.
Charlie Blackmon is getting most of the media attention as the guy is threatening to hit .500 this season, but several other Rockies players are having strong starts at the dish as well as Daniel Murphy (.358), Garrett Hampson (.325), Trevor Story (.306), and Raimel Tapia (.304) are all hitting north of .300 on the year.
Ryan Castellani (0-0 0.00 ERA)
Ryan Castellani will make his second-ever MLB start tonight for the Rockies. Castellani was a second-round draft pick back in 2014, but it took him a while to make it to the big leagues as he got drafted straight out of high school at just 18 years old. After toiling in the low minors for five years, he finally got his shot at triple-A ball last year and really struggled.
In ten triple-A starts last year, Castellani had a sky-high ERA of 8.31 and walked way too many hitters and allowed way too many home runs. But, despite his ineffectiveness at triple-A, the Rockies chose to give him a shot at the majors this year anyway, and he made his MLB debut last week in a start against the Seattle Mariners. Castellani really impressed against the weak-hitting Mariners, as he pitched four innings and didn’t even allow a hit on sixty pitches.
Who Do I Like?
I see these two teams heading in opposite directions right now. The Rangers have underachieved in 2020 but seem to have turned things around recently. And the Rockies just aren’t nearly as good as their record shows, and you have to wonder if this recent skid is going to turn into a prolonged slump. We saw these teams match up in Texas on Opening Night, and Lance Lynn completely dominated Colorado, when he pitched six shutout innings and allowed just two hits while striking out nine.
I can’t expect Lynn to have the same level of success tonight in Coors Field, as it is always tougher to pitch at the high elevation, but his 10.7 K/9 ratio in his two seasons with Texas is the highest of his career, and that thin air doesn’t matter nearly as much when batters can’t make contact.
The Rockies bullpen was exposed in their recent series against the Diamondbacks as they got blasted for seventeen runs in the three-game series. It’s no surprise at all that they ended up losing the series two games to one for their first series loss of the year, as the bullpen just couldn’t get anybody out. In the one game that they did manage to win against Arizona, they allowed five ninth run innings and barely held on for the one-run win.
The Texas Rangers have yet to heat up at the plate, but I see this series with the Rockies as the perfect time for them to start barreling up the baseball. They just have too much talent to struggle for much longer and getting a chance to feast on an inexperienced youngster like Ryan Castellani has the Rangers licking their chops. Even if Castellani finds a way to be decent, he won’t be pitching the entire game, and this bullpen has shown recently that they can’t be trusted either.
I think Lynn strikes out a bunch of guys and the Rangers coast to the win in this one. Texas actually opened as underdogs in this game, and the early betting sharps jumped all over it and moved it towards the Rangers.
I will jump on the same side as the sharps tonight and expect the Rangers to win this one fairly easily. At the end of this series, I expect the Rangers bats to be hot, the Rockies bullpen to be in shambles, and Texas to walk away with the series win. Give me the Texas Rangers tonight from Coors Field as small road favorites!