7:10 p.m. ET – Rangers at Rays (-190 ML) O/U: 8
The 5-7 Rangers look to secure the series victory over the 5-7 Rays on Thursday night after taking two of the first three games. In the first three games of the series, the Rangers have outscored Tampa Bay 13-5, with their only loss coming in the opening game by a score of 1-0. The Rays were unable to overcome a four-run top of the seventh in Wednesday’s game that led The Rangers to a 5-1 victory.
About the Rangers
Center Fielder Joey Gallo has shown a matured approach at the plate this season as he hopes to avoid battling the Mendoza line once again, and early on it is being put on display with a .270 batting average through 12 games. First baseman Nate Lowe was signed this offseason after playing the past three years with the Rays.
Lowe made Tampa Bay pay on Wednesday, smashing his fourth home run of the young season. Texas also acquired David Dahl this offseason following four seasons with the Rockies, but Dahl has not looked like the guy who has batted over .300 twice in his career so far. Dahl is batting only .209 with zero home runs and only three RBIs. The Rangers do not have the pitching staff to win baseball games if this lineup does not have everyone producing at their maximum potential.
About the Rays
This series against Texas has been a microcosm of the slow start the reigning American League champion Rays have endured so far this season. Tampa Bay is scoring only 3.8 runs per game, ranking 23rd in the league, while they are allowing 5.7 runs per game. The Rays are in flux in the batter’s box, but have a solid pitching staff from top to bottom.
That should help them stay afloat while they figure things out offensively. Tampa Bay is going to need ALCS MVP Randy Arozerena and outfielder Austin Meadows to continue their hot starts if they hope to win the American League East again this season.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Texas Rangers||+1½ (-125)||+160||O 8 (-110)|
|Tampa Bay Rays||-1½ (+105)||-190||U 8 (-110)|
The Pitching Matchup
Texas will be handing the ball to right-hander Jordan Lyles on Thursday night. Lyles has been adequate in two starts this season, going 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA over 10 innings of work. The Rays will be asking Rich Hill to take the mound and hoping he can finally put together a good start this season. Hill is 1-0 in two starts this year, but he has a 7.20 ERA in 10 innings pitched. Hill has had some bad luck while pitching this year, with soft contact finding holes and defensive miscues keeping him out on the mound when better fortune would have had him chilling in the dugout. With a lot of left-handed hitters in the Texas lineup, Thursday night boasts a great opportunity for Hill to get back on track.