Daily MLB Picks & Predictions for Dodgers-Rangers 4-Game Series

Willie Bee

Monday, June 15, 2015 12:05 PM UTC

Monday, Jun. 15, 2015 12:05 PM UTC

The MLB odds aren't out yet for the finale between the Dodgers and Rangers, due to Texas altering its starting rotation by recalling a rookie to start Thursday's tilt.


18th June
Dodgers vs. Rangers Game 4

By: Willie Bee



Even on their own diamond with a 3-time Cy Young winner on the mound, the Los Angeles Dodgers can't catch a break. Texas bolted out to an early 4-0 lead against Clayton Kershaw and Los Angeles on Wednesday, then held on for a 5-3 win to put the Rangers on the verge of a sweep in this home-&-home interleague set.

Maybe the Dodgers can prevent that in Thursday's finale (10:10 PM ET) when a change to Texas' rotation plans has prevented the lines from showing up yet at most sports books monitored by SBR's MLB betting odds board. Once the numbers do come out, LA should be huge chalk with Zack Greinke on the home bump. The Rangers have opted to give their starting hurlers an extra day off, recalling Anthony Ranaudo from the minors to pitch in this game.

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Rangers See Greinke For 1st Time Since '12
Colby Lewis had been next to solo in the Texas chorus line, the righthander enjoying a pretty good month of June with the Rangers winning two of his three starts while he toiled for seven innings each time. But Lewis won't get his chance to face the Dodgers for the first time in his career after Ranaudo was summoned from Triple-A Round Rock.

There's a real good chance Ranaudo will have a much better game than his only other appearance for Texas this year. The former 1st-round pick out of LSU by Boston couldn't make it out of the second inning April 15 vs. LA's other team, the Angels scoring six time en route to a 10-2 rout of the Rangers.

The last time Greinke faced the Rangers was in 2012 after he was dealt from the Brewers to the Angels. He no-decisioned in both of those starts, and also faced them plenty of times during his Royals tenure. Add it all up, and Greinke has made 12 starts and two relief appearances vs. Texas, totaling nearly 80 innings and recording a 2.83 ERA.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Marvin Hudson will complete one circuit around the umpire crew for this series when the 18-year veteran calls balls and strikes tonight. He had a prolonged run of 6-straight 'under' winners on the MLB odds that carried him and baseball bettors from late-April through May, and also worked a low-side contest at Dodger Stadium on April 15 to leave his 2015 record 4-7-1 O/U/P.

The last time a game at Dodger Stadium was postponed, Bill Clinton was still in the White House (April 17, 2000). That streak won't end Thursday, or anytime this weekend in their upcoming series with the Giants we'll be covering with free MLB picks.

It has also been a while since the Dodgers dropped four games in a row. You have to go back to September 2013 to find the last time such a streak reached four. I do expect that to end tonight, but the price on the Dodgers is probably going to be too rich for me to play it.

MLB Pick:  Lean Dodgers at BetOnline


17th June
Dodgers vs. Rangers Game 3

By: Willie Bee



Disappointment turned into elation for the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. After watching Chi Chi Gonzalez's shutout bid spoiled by a homer off the bat of Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Justin Turner in the top of the ninth, Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos answered with a solo blast to lead off the bottom of the frame for a 3-2 Rangers victory.

The teams spent the night travelling west to LA for Games 3 and 4 of this interleague series, first pitch at Dodger Stadium scheduled for 10:10 PM (ET) Wednesday in what is the most lopsided game on the MLB betting odds board. That's because Clayton Kershaw is pitching for the home team, the moneyline as high as -280 on Los Angeles at Bovada. That same sports book has a +240 return on Wandy Rodriguez and the Rangers, a 6 run total carrying an extra charge on the high side.


Both Hurlers Enjoy Pitching In LA
Rodriguez has had a couple of stumbles since joining the Texas rotation in late-April, but otherwise been a steady arm for manager Jeff Bannister. The Rangers have emerged with the dubya each of his last five times out, Rodriguez sporting a 2.29 ERA in that span, and the southpaw has surrendered just two long flies in his last 49 innings.

Having logged most of his career in the National League, Rodriguez has faced the Dodgers 12 times before and loves to pitch in Los Angeles. Six starts and a relief outing at Dodger Stadium have resulted in a 3-3 record with a sparkling 1.44 ERA.

Kershaw has also done some of his best work on the mound in LA over the years, the Dodgers winning five of his six home starts this year while the two-time defending NL Cy Young winner pitched to a sub-2.00 ERA. Since losing to the Giants in San Francisco on May 21, Kershaw has helped the Dodgers to four consecutive wins while lowering his ERA more than a run in the process. Wednesday will be his first look ever at the Rangers, and his first interleague start since a no-decision against the Angels last August.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Should the same crew that worked the two games in Texas follow the teams to LA, Chad Fairchild will call balls and strikes in Wednesday's tilt. The Ohio native who led all MLB umpires with eight ejections in 2013 hasn't established a solid trend either way on the totals this year, six of his 11 games going 'over' and five remaining 'under' the marks. The Dodgers have won his last four plate assignments at Chavez Ravine, totals splitting in those contests.

The clubs managed to avoid the bad weather in Texas and now get to move to Los Angeles where there's no rain in the forecast in the foreseeable future. Clear skies with temps in the low-70s are expected Wednesday evening, and I'm expecting an 'under' winner for my free MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Rangers-Dodgers Under 6 (-105) at Bovada


16th June
Dodgers vs. Rangers Game 2

By: Willie Bee



One big inning was all the Texas Rangers needed on Monday to win the first of four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now we'll see if the weather is going to allow both teams to even play an inning on Tuesday before their series shifts to the West Coast.

Things are supposed to begin at 8:05 PM (ET) with Brett Anderson toiling on the mound for LA opposite Texas rookie Chi Chi Gonzalez. Early action has been on the Dodgers who are listed as -150 chalk at BetOnline, a 9 run total also on the baseball betting card and taxed a bit more to the low side.


Gonzalez Off To Fast Start In Bigs
One of Anderson's biggest problems has been working deep into games, going a full six innings in just half of his 12 starts. That has forced manager Don Mattingly to lean on his bullpen heavier when the lefty takes his turn in the rotation, subsequently leaving Los Angeles 6-6 (4-2 in his no-decisions) and off about 2¼ units against the MLB moneylines.

Thanks to his days pitching for the A's, Anderson has experience against the Rangers.  Unfortunately, facing them was generally a bad experience. Seven starts and three relief appearances yielded a 1-4 personal record with a 6.80 ERA, those numbers even worse in Texas where he's 0-3 with a 9.76 ERA.

Gonzalez has allowed just one run in his first three major league starts...and that run cost him his first loss last Thursday in Oakland. The 23rd overall pick by Texas in 2013 out of Oral Roberts, Gonzalez owns a fastball that can reach the mid-to-upper 90s with movement, and he also possesses a plus slider while still continuing to develop his curve. He has only allowed 13 hits and has yet to give up a homer in his first 21+ innings, but control has been an issue with 10 walks against just eight strikeouts.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Greg Gibson is next up to call balls and strikes, his 10th assignment of the season. The Ohio native began 2015 with four of his first five games going 'under' the totals, but has since seen three of the last four go 'over' the MLB odds. Gibson has been a boon to bettors playing home teams, 7-2 so far with all three home underdogs cashing tickets when he works the plate. The Rangers have prevailed in each of his last four games under the mask at The Ballpark.

If you haven't been following the news, Tropical Storm Bill is arriving on the Texas coast today and the weatherman is calling for a very good chance of heavy storms all the way up to the D-FW area this evening. The teams are slated to fly out to LA this evening to continue their series, and it wouldn't be surprising to see this game canceled early. I'm liking the 'under' for my  free MLB pick and hope we can go the full nine innings tonight.

MLB Pick: Dodgers-Rangers Under 9 (-125) at BetOnline


15th June
Dodgers vs. Rangers Series Opener

By: Willie Bee



One team was a prohibitive favorite to win its division, the other a dark horse in a different league and division. So far, the Los Angeles Dodgers are living up to expectations sitting first in the NL West, all while the Texas Rangers are beating the MLB futures odds as a contender in the AL West.

The clubs collide in Texas on Monday, the first of a four before shifting to LA on Wednesday. Game 1 has an 8:05 PM (ET) first pitch, and "Viva Mexico!" might be a frequent cheer from the stands in Arlington with both starting pitchers, Carlos Frias and Yovani Gallardo, hailing from Tierra Azteca. Los Angeles is listed as -115 chalk at 5Dimes, a consensus morning moneyline, an 8½ (O -120) total also available on the baseball betting board.

It was 2009 the last time the Dodgers and Rangers got together, Los Angeles winning two of three in Arlington. Six years might not sound like a long time, but when you realize that only one regular from the lineups that battled in that series, LA's Andre Ethier, remains with either club, it puts things in better perspective.

Winning that set gave the Dodgers an 11-8 advantage over the Rangers since they first met in 1997, and 7-4 in Texas. All three contests in the last meeting stayed 'under' the totals, the closing MLB odds in those games setting the marks in the 9½-10 run span.


Dodgers On Good Run, Rangers In Small Slump
Los Angeles (37-26, +1.2 units) had to wait 12 innings before securing Sunday's 4-2 victory at the Padres, then the Dodgers had a long wait getting to Texas when their charter plane ran into mechanical issues leaving San Diego. Instead of getting into the D-FW area around midnight, it was closer to four in the morning. The Dodgers took two of three from the Pads, and reach Texas having won five of their last six to build a 3½ game lead over the Giants.

Following a 14-3 stretch from mid-May into early June, Texas (33-30, +13.6 units) has taken a step back in the last week or so with four defeats in the last seven trips to the diamond. The Rangers opened this homestand by taking the first two from Minnesota over the weekend, but couldn't pull off the broom job with a 4-3 loss in Sunday's finale. Rookie third baseman Joey Gallo homered in the losing cause, giving him four long flies in his first 11 big league games.


Gallardo Impressive Vs. Dodgers Last 4 Seasons
Frias pitched well enough to have won his last start, his second consecutive appearance to work 6.2 innings while allowing just one run to the Diamondbacks, but received no help from the bats while he was in there to earn a no-decision in what was an eventual 3-1 Los Angeles victory. The Dodgers have won two of his three road assignments while the beanpole of a righthander pitched to a sub-2.00 ERA. This will be his first look at an American League club since he made his major league debut against the Angels out of the bullpen last August.

Gallardo has earned two no-decisions so far this month, Texas splitting games against the White Sox and Athletics while the righty gave up just two earned runs in the 13 combined innings. He left with a 4-2 lead through seven last Wednesday in Oakland, striking out a season-high 10, but the bullpen couldn't make it stand up in a 5-4 Rangers loss. Having spent the previous seven years in the NL, Gallardo has seen the Dodgers before with recent matchups going well. The Brewers won four of his last five assignments against LA thanks to Gallardo's 2.57 ERA.

Things are not looking good on the weather front with more heavy storms in the Texas forecast the next couple of days. Monday night finds a 20%-30% chance in the evening, so we should be able to get Game 1 in, but Tuesday's tilt looks very much in doubt.

There's a huge difference in these two clubs out in the bullpens where Los Angeles' relief corps is simply deeper and better. That alone has me riding the Dodgers with my free MLB pick on Monday.

MLB Pick: Dodgers -115 at 5Dimes

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Season: 50-37-2 (+13.95)

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