What a great day for Major League Baseball! We have all 30 teams in action today, and have seventeen today games on the slate, with a couple of double-headers scheduled. Headlining games on an action-packed day are games between the Cubs and Cardinals, the Yankees and Rays with first place in the AL East Division on the line, and the Tigers and the White sox, where each team will be starting a prized prospect in their first career big league start.
With so many games on tap for the day, I have action all over the board. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will look for maximum value, when we break down the game between the Texas Rangers and the San Diego Padres.
Texas Rangers (10-12) at San Diego Padres (13-12)
The San Diego Padres host the Texas Rangers tonight in game three of a four-game series, looking to make it three straight wins over Texas. The Padres have taken the first two games of this series, and with the back to back wins, have gotten back to the right side of .500 on the year. Before this series against the Rangers, the Padres had lost a season-high five straight games.
For Texas, the Rangers are hoping they can snap their modest three-game losing streak tonight, as they send their ace to the mound, in Lance Lynn. The Rangers had won seven out of their previous nine games before dropping the first two of the set against the Padres.
Starting tonight for the Padres is Chris Paddack (2-2 4.91 ERA), and for the Rangers, it is Lance Lynn (3-0 1.11 ERA). The game total over/under is set at eight runs. The Padres are -143 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM PST from PETCO Park in San Diego.
The Texas Rangers were a dark horse candidate in the American League coming into 2020, and while they are still in postseason contention, as they are just a game and a half back of the Baltimore Orioles for the final playoff spot in the AL, I don’t think we have seen their best baseball yet. The Rangers lost Cory Kluber, to injury after just one inning, and not having him in the rotation has hurt the Rangers.
Kluber was shut down for four weeks, roughly four weeks ago, and while we haven’t heard a lot about his progress, he could be back in time for a late-season playoff push for Texas.
The Rangers were expected to have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball in 2020 with Kluber leading the way, and Lance Lynn and Mike Minor both coming back after finishing in the top ten of the AL Cy Young Award voting last year. They also brought in veteran arms like Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson to round out the staff.
But that just hasn’t been the case for Texas. Minor and Lyles have both been awful, and youngster Kolby Allard, who was thrown into action when Kluber was shut down, has struggled as well. Gibson has been serviceable with a 3.74 ERA, but the lone star of this Lone Star State rotation, has been Lance Lynn.
Lance Lynn (3-0 1.11 ERA)
Lance Lynn had a career year with the Rangers last season when he won sixteen games and posted a 3.67 ERA and a career-high 246 K’s. He finished in fifth place in the AL Cy Young Award vote, and hit 2020 with a lot of pressure taken off, as Kluber was supposed to be the ace of the staff, giving Lynn some very attractive matchups with teams number two guys, rather than their number ones. But with Kluber out, Lynn has again been asked to lead the rotation for Texas, and he has not disappointed.
Lynn has made five starts and has been nearly unhittable. Lynn has pitched into the sixth inning or later in four out of his five starts and has allowed just four earned runs in 32.1 innings pitched. That is good for a blink, and you will miss it, 1.11 ERA. He has 36 K’s and has allowed just 12 total hits.
Lynn is carrying this Ranger’s team right now, and in his last start, threw a complete game against the Colorado Rockies, at Coors Field no less, and picked up the win when he allowed just two earned runs on two hits and no walks. This is the best version of Lance Lynn we have ever seen.
San Diego Padres
The Padres just can’t seem to stay consistent enough to live up to their ample hype. This team is loaded with young studs, and if they can find a way to get a bit more of a consistent effort night in and night out, they absolutely could win the National League pennant this year. The Padres have been super streaky and started the season by winning six out of their first eight games.
Then they lost five out of their next seven. Since then, they have had a three-game winning streak, and a five-game losing streak, before getting back on track and winning these first two games against the Rangers. It has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs for the Padres, and if they can get things moving in the right direction by playoff time, watch out.
Chris Paddack (2-2 4.91 ERA)
Chris Paddack was supposed to be the next big thing in San Diego when they brought him in from the Miami Marlins in 2016. In a trade destined to go down as one of the worst in Marlin’s history, Miami got back just embattled closer, Fernando Rodney, in exchange for Paddack. Paddack had arm issues that caused him to miss time with Tommy John surgery, but when he came up to the big leagues for the first time in 2019, he was one of the top prospects in baseball.
Paddack impressed in his first season in the show, as he posted a winning record and a 3.33 ERA. Heading into 2020, Paddack was expected to be the ace of this Padres staff at just 24-years old. Unfortunately for Padres fans, Paddack hasn’t been able to reproduce his stellar results from 2019, so far here in 2020.
Paddack was great on Opening Night when he pitched six shutout innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but since then, he has looked a bit shaky. Paddack has struggled particularly hard here in August, as he has made three starts and has allowed 12 earned runs in 14.2 innings worked. The big issue for Paddack has been home runs, as he has allowed seven home runs in his last four starts.
Who Do I Like?
The betting market has shown a lot of disrespect to Lance Lynn this year. Despite being light’s out last year, and nearly unhittable this year, Lynn is regularly being priced very low. Lynn and the Rangers opened up in this game at +115, and everyone seems to be jumping on the Padres, and Lynn is now a fairly significant underdog, at +125.
I get it, the Padres have some great bats in their lineup, but so do the Rockies, DBacks, and A’s, teams that Lynn has dominated already this season. And when I look at Chris Paddack’s recent results, I just don’t know if he isn’t going to get lit up again.
I’m not sure it is fair to compare the Dodgers lineup to the Rangers, but the Dodgers blasted Paddack for six earned runs, in only three innings, his last time out and they sent three balls over the fence. That type of performance doesn’t exactly exude confidence in Paddack.
I am backing the Rangers in this one. I think Lance Lynn will continue his recent run of success, and while I would expect Chris Paddack to be at least decent, you just never know with this guy, as he is really struggling as of late. Paddack loves to attack the strike zone with fastballs, particularly early in the count, and the Rangers have a lot of bats that love to barrel up fastballs.
I would say this is a coin flip game at best, and if I can get a coin flip game at +125, I am going to take it every time. Lance Lynn will be solid, Paddack will be shaky, and the Rangers will find a way to take care of business tonight in San Diego. Give me the Texas Rangers as road underdogs tonight in game three from PETCO Park!