New York went down (like a free throw) on Friday night for our fourth win in a row this month. The Yankees finally got a day off yesterday and will open up back at home after a West Coast road trip that has to be considered a success, considering the quality of opponent and scheduling circumstances.
But we’re staying away from the Yankees tonight. Instead, there’s an interleague matchup between the Marlins and Rangers that just might get us our fifth in a row. It pits Dan Straily against Cole Hamels to start.
There isn’t anything incorrect about using the term “interleague” but it feels a bit wrong now that we have American League and National League teams play each other every week. Interleague play is 20 years old this season but it hasn’t been as it was since 2012 when the Astros played their first season in the AL.
Anyway, the Marlins beat the Rangers in Arlington last night behind Adam Conley’s seven scoreless innings. The bullpen polished off the 4-0 win. Giancarlo Stanton also pulled even with Aaron Judge for the Major League-lead in home runs with his 31st and 32nd dingers of the season. He has hit six since last Monday.
Hamels will be the first to deal with Stanton. The two have had quite a number of battles, going back to Hamels’ time in the NL East. Stanton is 12-for-48 in his career off of Hamels with three home runs, two doubles and a triple. For Hamels, it will be all about keeping Stanton off-balance with that changeup fading down and away from that mighty bat.
There are plenty of other right-handed bats in Miami’s lineup, which might make Hamels a scary play except that he’s always been quite effective against righties because of that changeup. Righties hit about .240 over the last three seasons against him. Lefties are still worse but not much at .220. This season, however, Hamels has been stingy against lefties. They are hitting .130 while righties are still up around .243. That isn’t great news for Dee Gordon or Christian Yelich. I have the Marlins’ team total right around 4.5 with juice on the under.
I have the Rangers’ just about the same, with some juice on the over. Dan Straily’s last five or six starts haven’t been quite as clean as his start to the season but he’s still missing bats and limiting damage. He’s given up 17 hits in his last two starts, spanning just 10 innings, but allowed just six runs. Texas’ lineup is starting to fail it, too. Five thru nine went 1-for-17 last night.
The bullpens on each side can get a little scary and AJ Ramos might not be available after throwing 23 pitches last night. We can freelance the late innings, though. I have this one ‘capped at a full run below the number.
Free Pick: Under 10.5 (-100)