We saw an offensive explosion in last night's game, as the Rangers evened up the series at 1-1. What can we expect tonight, and who should we be gravitating towards with our MLB picks?
Rangers vs. Padres Odds Overview
The Rangers got back on track yesterday, totaling eight runs in an 8-6 victory at Petco. As expected, neither starting pitcher was effective, leading to an offensive explosion at the dish and an easy cash for those that took the OVER.
Tonight, we see Texas favored by a large margin with their ace, Cole Hamels, set to toe the rubber. The Rangers are listed in the -130 to -140 range to pick up the win, with San Diego available at roughly +125. The total is lower for tonight's series finale, with oddsmakers posting a number of 6.5. Ian Kennedy will be starting opposite Hamels.
San Diego Padres (Kennedy)
It was a rough outing for Andrew Cashner yesterday, and the bullpen didn't exactly do much better either. With that loss, San Diego dropped to 64-68 overall, putting them a whopping 10.5 games back of first place in the highly competitive NL West.
Tonight it'll be Ian Kennedy's turn in the rotation, and he's been pitching as well as we've seen him pitch all season long. The right-hander may have forgettable overall numbers (8-12, 3.94 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP), but he's gone 4-3 with a 2.32 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. Kennedy just posted a 2.30 ERA in the month of August and will be hoping he can start September off in similar fashion.
The bad news is Kennedy was roughed up by the Rangers in his one outing against them in 2015. He allowed four hits and four runs (three earned) in just 4 and 1/3 innings of work, while logging more walks (three) than strikeouts (two). Will he do any better this time around?
Texas Rangers (Hamels)
The Rangers really need every win they can get at this point in this heated playoff race, so yesterday was big. They'll now look to close out the series with a victory, and they seem to hold the advantage with Hamels toeing the rubber.
He may not have dominated in his first few starts for Texas, but he's looking like the ace we all know and love now. He just completely shut down Baltimore last week, holding them to two hits and one run while striking out 10 over eight innings, thus lowering his ERA to 3.89. A reliable innings eater, Hamels now heads to a pitcher's dream destination in San Diego, with the spacious ballpark helping limit offensive production for the most part.
Hamels hasn't been at his best on the road (4.20 ERA), but the Padres are not an offense to fear and they strike out with the best of them, so it would be surprising if the left-hander doesn't find success.
Our MLB picks on the OVER was an easy winner last night, but we're not going that way with our MLB picks tonight. No, instead we like the look of the Rangers at a more than reasonable price.
Hamels has really settled into his new digs nicely following a pretty shaky start, and he looked dominant as ever in his most recent out against a tough Baltimore offense. Now the southpaw comes up against a San Diego team that's had quite a bit of trouble against left-handers all season long, which means this is a nice and juicy matchup.
So while we've been impressed with what Kennedy has been doing for the Padres lately, we still trust Hamels a lot more at this stage, and it helps that he has the better offense backing him up too. We're siding with Texas and don't mind taking on a little bit of chalk in the process.
MLB Pick: Texas Rangers -130 at 5Dimes