The Rays smashed the Nationals last night that made for a comfortable win on our end. They’re playing as well as any team in baseball right now and are still nearly +200 home underdogs against Max Scherzer this afternoon. That game will mostly be up to Nathan Eovaldi‘s ability to hold Washington down and give his offense a chance to scratch a couple across against Scherzer. I’m going to pass.
From June 7 to June 15, the Texas Rangers lost seven consecutive games. From June 16 to June 23, they won seven straight. Since then, the Rangers are 1–1, including a win last night in the first game of this series, 7–4.
The lineup felt rather incomplete for the first couple months of the season while guys like Jurickson Profar, Delino DeShields Jr. and Adrian Beltre nursed injuries. Those two are back now and Texas is just about as healthy as it’s going to get.
It’s starting to show. It also helps that Rougned Odor is beginning to hit. It was just last season he signed a six-year, nearly $50 million contract. This season has been a disaster for him; not only was his average teetering around the Mendoza Line, but he wasn’t hitting any homers.
He’s on a six-game hit streak and has his batting average up around 25 points in June, but he still isn’t hitting the ball out of the yard. He has just two homers the whole season, the most recent of which came on the 20th of June against Kansas City.
In fact, the guy having the best offensive season for Texas is Shin-Soo Choo. Choo was nearly out of town last season but the Rangers couldn’t really get another team to take him. Now, his 133 OPS+ leads the team and is one of three above average, along with Beltre and Nomar Mazara.
Ross has a challenge ahead of him, re-visiting a park that was the setting for a lot of bad memories last season, his only as a member of the Rangers. But he ought to be up for it in the middle of a resurgence. Ross is only 5–5 but the Padres are 10–5 in his 15 starts.
Ross has given up five runs once and four runs once in those 15 starts; all the others have been even better. His last three outings have all been on the road and he gave up a total of seven runs in over 18 innings pitched.
With Bibens-Dirkx on the other side, I was looking at this game being low-scoring. He’s only made three starts this season but he’s been good and usually keeps the ball into the sixth inning when his manager gives it to him.
What we have is a rather high total, which has to be the result of Texas’ recent hot streak. If you fear the Rangers’ lineup, I’m keen on San Diego going under its team total of 5.0 but I’m willing to bet on Ross and play the game total, which is simply too high.
Play: Under 10.5