MLB Pick on Texas Rangers as Small Underdogs in Arizona

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 4:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015 4:00 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.


The tiny road underdog could have the edge Wednesday night in interleague play when veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo and the Texas Rangers (6-8, 4-4 away) pay a visit to rookie right-hander Archie Bradley and the Arizona Diamondbacks (7-7, 3-4 home) in the last game of a brief two-game series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 9:40 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Southwest.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Arizona as a small road underdog for this contest at current odds of +103.

Worst Records Last Season
The series pits the two teams that were the worst MLB picks in their respective leagues last season when the Diamondbacks of the National League finished with the worst record in all of baseball at 64-98 and the Rangers had the worst record in the American League at 67-95. Both clubs were beset with a ton of injuries though so improvement was expected for both squads this year.

And both teams seem to be heading in the right direction as Arizona is at .500 at 7-7 in the early going, good enough for third place in the National League West, and while the Rangers are fourth in the American League West, they bounced back from losing two out of three games to the Mariners in Seattle this past weekend by winning the series opener easily here last night 7-1 to improve to 6-8 on the year.

Gallardo Facing National League Team Again
And in the one game that the Rangers won in Seattle, Gallardo had his second straight strong outing with six scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory in that series opener on Friday, as after a tough American League debut, he has now allowed only two runs in 11.2 innings in his last two outings with 10 strikeouts vs. three walks, leaving him at 2-1 with a 3.45 ERA with 15 strikeouts vs. four walks in 15.2 innings so far in his Texas career.

Gallardo had spent his entire career in the National League with the Milwaukee Brewers prior to this season, and he has held his own in the more hitter-friendly American League that employs the designated hitter to this point. This time however, Gallardo gets to face a National League team, and one that he has done very well against at that, and in a National League ballpark meaning that he will once again face the opposing pitcher in the lineup.

The native of La Piedad, Michoacan Mexico has sparkled vs. the Diamondbacks in his career going a perfect 7-0 in 10 starts with a 1.86 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, holding Arizona hitters to a .206 batting average with 53 strikeouts in 63 innings. He now gets to face a Diamondback lineup batting just .205 vs. right-handed pitchers here in Phoenix this young season while averaging only 3.29 runs per game against them.

Is Bradley For Real?
The rookie Bradley has certainly acquitted himself well in his first two Major League starts, first out-dueling Clayton Kershaw getting the win while tossing six scoreless innings and allowing just one hit vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first start in the big leagues and then allowing only two runs on four hits in 6.2 innings vs. the World Champion San Francisco Giants in his second start last Thursday despite getting a no-decision.

But is this youngster the real deal? Well, we have our doubts as of now as his command numbers are not great with 10 strikeouts vs. a disturbing six walks in 12.2 innings, and he has gotten away with allowing a ridiculously low .161 BABIP so far, which will certainly not continue. Regression in that number is especially concerning for a pitcher that does not have a high strikeout rate.

Now, the Texas offense had been dormant for most of the season, but that has not been the case the last two games with the Rangers erupting for a total of 17 runs and 21 hits, and Prince Fielder is now batting .386 after hitting his first home run of the year last night and driving in a season-high three runs, so Bradley’s luck could very well start to come to an end here.

Rangers Have Had Upper Hand Head-to-Head
These are two interleague rivals that face each other almost every year and the Rangers have dominated the head-to-head series going 14-5 in the last 19 meetings. Also the Diamondbacks are just 2-8 in their last 10 interleague games overall.

Look for those trends to continue with Gallardo pitching Texas to the mild upset in Arizona on Wednesday.

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MLB Pick: Rangers +103

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