Good win on Tuesday with the Padres and Snakes going under with relative ease. And after a long winning streak hiatus, it’s time to get two in a row! We’re going to take a look at some day baseball today with a game between the Texas Rangers and the Minnesota Twins. The game will be the fourth in a series, as the Rangers look to take three of four on the road in the Twin Cities. The last two games have been one-run decisions and this one is a relative tossup, too. The hot Nick Martinez takes the ball against underrated hurler, Samuel Deduno, who is an approximate -120 favorite in his home ball park.
I like both of these starters quite a bit. Let’s start with Martinez. A converted infielder, Nick Martinez replaced Martin Perez in the starting rotation ten days ago and he’s put together two really good outings against arguably the two best offenses in baseball. While he’s only gone 11 combined innings in the two starts, Martinez surrendered just two runs to the Blue Jays and Tigers. He hasn’t been dominant, per say. And has allowed 16 baserunners in those two outings. But it’s also Toronto and Detroit. I watched him throw in the last start against the Tigers and was impressed with his command and knowledge of how to pitch. He doesn’t have blow-away stuff, but Nick Martinez understands what it means to limit mistakes and force the opponent to beat him. Of course, Minnesota’s lineup has been just about as good as any about 30 percent of the way into the season, but I’m not the only one who is kind of expecting that to reverse in the last 70. And I don’t think it would be terribly out of line to fade the Twins for the rest of the season if you were to commit to some sort of experiment.
On the other side, you have Samuel Deduno going up against the somewhat depleted Rangers’ offense. There’s no Prince Fielder or Profar, but Texas has still managed some decent productivity. I always considered Alex Rios a waste of talent many years ago. Turns out he just hadn’t developed yet! I really enjoy watching him swing a bat. And he leads the offensive charge against Deduno, who has been steady as usual for the Twins while getting no respect. He continues to turn in quality starts with a WHIP just over 1.3 and an ERA in the mid-3’s. He’ll allow a couple runs, but you have to like Deduno’s chances to throw another quality start at home. In fact, you have to like both pitchers’ chances. And that’s why I like the first 5 under this afternoon.
Free Pick: First 5 Innings U4.5 (-115)
YTD: 19-12 +5.28