Good Pitching Makes Under The MLB Pick When Rangers Visit Indians

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

With one great starting pitcher expected to rebound from a rare poor effort and the other starter seemingly underrated, the ‘under’ looks like the right MLB Pick Wednesday.

Southpaw Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers (31-21, 13-12 away) pays a visit to right-hander Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians (26-24, 12-12 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH at 6:10 ET on SportsTime Ohio.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 8 for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.


Rangers Have Charged Into First Place
The Rangers have enjoyed their trip to Cleveland so far as they are looking to complete a three-game road sweep tonight. They have now won four straight games overall after winning the last two games of a just completed home stand vs. Pittsburgh, and Texas has now overtaken the Seattle Mariners in the American League West to lead the division by one-half game.

The Indians were a popular pick to win the American League Central before the season because of their excellent starting pitching, and they remain in position to do so despite now being the losing MLB picks in three straight games all here at home, losing the series finale to the Baltimore Orioles Sunday before this series. Still, Cleveland remains only 2½ games behind the first place Kansas City Royals despite sitting third in the division.


Hamels Has Given Texas Rotation Needed Boost
Hamels comes off of a rough outing for the Rangers as he was touched up for six runs (five earned) on eight hits including two home runs in 4.2 innings by the Pirates, but that was an atypical outing compared to the fine season he has had as he has shown why Texas was ecstatic to acquire him at the trading deadline last year from the Phillies. In fact, that outlying effort on Friday marked his first loss of the season following a 5-0 start.

And do not forget that Hamels went 7-1 in a Texas uniform after the trade last season, but he may have had some luck on his side as his 3.66 ERA was higher than he was accustomed to posting for Philadelphia. The transition to the American League has gone much smoother this year though as even with that clunker last time, Hamels still has a 3.34 ERA and a nice ratio of 67 strikeouts vs. 23 walks in 62 innings, helping lead to a good 3.53 xFIP that validates the ERA.

Also note that Hamels has been brilliant on the road this year, where he does not have to worry about the wind currents in Arlington pushing balls out in the power alleys, as he is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA and 1.01 WHIP away from home with 30 strikeouts vs. nine walks in 27.2 innings. Apparently not worry about wind tunnels has freed up Hamels to pound the strike zone more on the road, and it has shown.


Bauer Better than Mainstream Stats
Now, a quick glance at the numbers for Bauer may lead one he is nothing more than mediocre, as he is 3-2 with a 4.34 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. However, he has allowed three runs or less in five of his six starts this season and his outstanding ratio of 41 strikeouts vs. 18 walks in 45.2 innings is a strong indication that he has been pitching quite a bit better than his ERA and WHIP.

Bauer was considered by many to be a can’t-miss prospect when he first came up in 2012, but the former third overall pick in the MLB Draft out of UCLA has yet to fulfill that potential and possibly never will. Still, the strikeout-to-walk ratio this year is a positive sign as has been his ability to limit the damage for the most part over those six starts since entering the rotation on April 30th.

That may not seem like much, but Bauer was prone to meltdowns in the past when things did not go his way, so if he has really matured as much as it seems, we could see him put up career-best numbers the rest of the season.


Nice ‘under’ Run
Finally, going back to last year, the ‘under’ is now 8-3-1 in Bauer’s last 12 starts overall including 5-2-1 in his last eight starts vs. teams with winning records. The ‘under’ is also 10-1-1 in Bauer’s last 12 starts vs. the American League West, as well as 5-2 in the Rangers’ last seven games vs. right-handed starters.

With Hamels expected to bounce back from a dull effort and Bauer showing some signs that he is worth keeping an eye on the rest of the year, look for those trends to continue and go ‘under’ the total when Texas wraps up its three-game series in Cleveland on Wednesday.

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Free MLB Pick: Indians Under 8 +100
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle
MLB Record: 30-30-1, +3.38

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