Cole Hamels makes his first start for his new team this evening, and he gets a tough first assignment against the Giants. What kind of MLB odds are on offer tonight?
The Rangers, with Cole Hamels set to make his first start for the team, are classified as -130 favorites on the MLB odds board for tonight's home game.
They'll be taking on a San Francisco team that's 56-46 and just one and a half games behind the LA Dodgers for first place in the NL West. The Giants can be backed at a price of around +115, while the total is all the way up at 8.5 runs, despite the fact Hamels and Chris Heston have been solid this season.
Texas Rangers (Hamels)
One of the bigger moves of the trade deadline involved Hamels, who goes from the Phillies, one of the worst teams in all of baseball, to a team that has at least has a chance to make the postseason. The Rangers desperately needed to bolster their pitching staff, and they were able to do just that by adding one of the best starters in all of baseball.
Hamels may not have the most dominant numbers out there (6-7, 3.64 ERA, 1.18 WHIP), but those numbers are skewed from a two-start stretch in which he was torched for 20 hits and 14 earned runs in only 6 and 1/3 innings of work. Other than those disasters, Hamels has generally been pretty darn good; oh, and he also managed to pitch a no hitter in his latest start, a 5-0 road win over the Cubs in the Windy City. The lefty struck out 13 and walked two in the masterful effort.
A change of scenery can be a great thing sometimes, and only time will tell if that's the case for Hamels. Regardless, fresh after immediately becoming the team's ace, he'll lead out the Rangers in hopes of notching the Rangers' fourth straight victory.
San Francisco Giants (Heston)
Though the Giants lost yesterday's series opener, they've been playing good baseball lately, having won seven of their last nine games overall.
They'll be sending out right-hander Chris Heston to the bump this evening, and he's been a rock for that rotation all season long. Heston is 11-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, and he's already pitched a no hitter of his own in 2015. The righty is coming off a fantastic month of July in which he went 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in a five-start period, so he should be high on confidence heading into this matchup with the Rangers.
As a team, San Francisco is fighting tooth and nail with LA for the top spot in the division, and it's a race that should only get more enthralling as we near the end of the regular season. Why does it matter to us? Well, we know how important each and every win is going to be for the Giants, so they need to have Heston in the right frame of mind this evening.
We don't feel particularly good about backing either one of these teams to win, and since we have a lot of faith in both of these starting pitchers, we're going to be recommending the UNDER as one of your MLB picks for the day.
Sure, this game will take place in a hitter's park, but Hamels and Heston have been getting the job done, and we're expecting them to show up with their best stuff this evening.
All in all, we feel the best play may be to take the UNDER. These are two pretty strong offenses, but good pitching can rule the day all more often than not, and these two hurlers have been very good this season. We're interested to see how Hamels performs in his Texas debut, and we're eager to find out if Heston has what it takes to shut down Prince Fielder and company in Arlington. Either way, we like the look of the UNDER tonight.
MLB Pick: UNDER 8.5