Los Angeles has Clay Kershaw, but Texas is 5-0 the last five times Wandy Rodriguez has started. Something's gotta give when the Dodgers and Rangers meet Thursday night for our MLB picks.
Rangers-Dodgers Wednesday Betting Odds
Yes, Clay Kershaw is awesome, but sometimes his lines border on the ridiculous. As of this writing the best price we could find on Los Angeles was the -260 offered at Pinnacle, while Texas and Wandy Rodriguez could be found getting +250 at 5Dimes.
Texas took the first two games of this series in Arlington, by scores of 4-1 Monday and 3-2 Tuesday. The teams now play Wednesday and Thursday out at Chavez Ravine.
The Rangers led 2-0 Tuesday heading into the ninth inning, let Los Angeles tie the game on a Justin Turner homer, then won it on a Robinson Chirinos homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Texas is 7-1 over its last eight series, and 19-7 over its last 26 games. At 35-30 Texas trails division-leading Houston by 2.5 games in the AL West, and now leads the American League wild-card race.
The Dodgers had won two series in a row coming into this one, and five of six games. At 37-28 Los Angeles still leads the NL West by 2.5 games over second-place San Francisco.
Moving to the National League park, the Rangers lose the DH for the next couple of games.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Kershaw (5-3, 3.21) is 8/13 on quality starts this season, working on a string of four in a row. Last Friday he held San Diego to one run through 6 2/3 innings, with 11 strikeouts, and over his last four starts he's given up just three runs through 28 2/3 innings. On the season the nasty lefty has allowed fewer hits, 70, than innings pitched, 87; Los Angeles is 8-5 in Kershaw's starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 7-5 margin.
This will be Kershaw's first-ever start against Texas, which should give him an even bigger advantage over hitters unfamiliar to him that he might already have.
Rodriguez (3-2, 3.03) is 5/10 on quality starts this year, and two for his last two. Last Friday he held Minnesota to one run through 6 2/3 innings, and just before that he held Kansas City to one run through seven innings. For the season Wandy has allowed fewer hits, 49, than innings pitched, 59 1/3; Texas is 7-3 in Rodriguez' starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 9-1 margin.
This will be Rodriguez' first start against the Dodgers since 2012, when he was with Pittsburgh.
If the last two games of this series come down to the bullpens LA owns an advantage. The Dodgers pen ranks seventh in the Majors with a 3.06 ERA, with a K/BB ratio of 200/61, while the Texas bullpen ranks 28th with a 4.53 ERA, with a K/BB ratio of 163/79.
Wednesday's Batting Splits
Texas ranks 14th in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .318 team OBP, while Los Angeles ranks 20th against lefties with a .310 OBP.
Texas has played 10 UNDERS in its last 12 games.
Los Angeles has played four UNDERS in a row, and eight in its last 11 games.
Games played at Dodger Stadium are a lopsided 22-12 on the OVERS this season, even though they've averaged only 7.8 runs per. But that looks like a trend that should begin reversing itself anytime now.
Texas must lead the Majors in guys on the disabled list; most importantly at the moment the Rangers are playing without both Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton. And yet Texas keeps plugging along.
Rangers-Dodgers Wednesday Free Picks
Texas loses a stick with no DH, and Kershaw is a monster, but we believe the value on today's betting line resides with the scrappy Rangers. Also, runs might be hard to come by tonight, so we're thinking UNDER for our MLB pick.