Add Up the Runs in Arlington with Twins and Rangers

Texas Rangers

Friday, July 8, 2016 2:28 PM GMT

It is Game 2 of the worst and the best of what the American League has to offer. Minnesota is being whipped on a regular basis, while Texas has quietly become the best team.

The Twins were a huge surprise last year to finish 83-79 (+20.6 units), but this year, manager Paul Molitor's club is paying the price for overachieving. Below, we will dig a little deeper to understand what happened and what it could mean for tonight.

After last year's stunning close to the season, the Rangers have picked up where they left off and one can only wonder what this club's ceiling is if they can match tonight's starting pitcher Cole Hamels (9-2, 2.93 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) with a healthy Yu Darvish for the remainder of 2016.

The numbers indicate Texas is a considerable home favorite and we will look to understand the best way to bet this matchup for MLB Picks.

Pitching Matchup - Gibson vs. Hamels
Kyle Gibson (2-5, 4.82, 1.43) lacks the elite pitches to be considered ace material. He's a ground-ball pitcher, which means keeping the fastball and slider down and that has been a problem all season long. Gibson has not really been healthy this year, battling shoulder and back issues, which have contributed to his inability to spot pitches. He has enjoyed success against Texas with 2.02 ERA in four starts (Twins 3-1), including victory last Sunday.

Though Hamels does not have same consistent velocity of younger days at 32, the left-hander is a complete pitcher, with full repertoire to go through opposing lineup four times and keep hitters guessing what is coming. Hamels still possess a lively fastball, cutter, multiple speed curves and deadly changeup. An elite hurler, who is underrated.

Minnesota Offense Has Come Around
After a very slow start, the Twins offense has caught up with last year's club and is averaging 4.3 runs per contest. Where Minnesota has been knocked woozy is permitting one full run more this season compared to last (5.3 vs. 4.3 RPG). You could add Mike Trout and Bryce Harper and that would still not be enough offense to overcome pathetic pitching.

Texas Offense Overcomes Horrible Bullpen
In a lot of ways, the Rangers offense is far better collectively than the individual parts. With Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland at below .300 on-base percentages, hard to embrace the notion Texas is sixth in scoring in baseball at 4.9 RPG. But this speaks to everyone else pulling their weight to help the team and explains incredible 36-23 underdog record (+23.7). By run differential, Texas is incredible seven games better than they should be 53-34 vs. 46-41, however, this is byproduct of a horrific bullpen giving up runs.

Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The opening MLB Odds at GTBets had Texas as -220 favorites with total of 9.5, but after last night's 10-1 drubbing and being losers of seven of 10, the Rangers are down to -180. Texas is 4-3 at Arlington the past few years against Minnesota and the UNDER is 5-2. By ERA numbers, these are two of the worst pens in the AL, with the Twinkies 12th (4.44) and the Rangers in the basement at wretched 5.07.

Game Outcome
In considering the side, I do not believe Minnesota can win, but do not trust the Texas bullpen on the traditional 1.5 run line. Thus, I will venture over to total, where I find the Twins 17-6 OVER after plating 10 or more times and 25-6 OVER versus opposing bullpen that pitches more than 3 2/3 innings per game. With the Rangers a solid 20-10 OVER at home after scoring two runs or less since last season, I will try and push year-to-date record here to 26-14 by betting higher score.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2992849, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,999996,169,139], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]

Free MLB Pick: Over 9.5 +105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage