Texas Rangers (42-32) at St. Louis Cardinals (47-27)
Due to a combination of good hitting and pitching, the St. Louis Cardinals have the best record in baseball while the Texas Rangers fight it out in the American League West Division down 2 games in the loss column with the Oakland Athletics.
Basically the difference between these two teams is the Cardinals have slightly better hitting and better pitching; good pitching wins games.
Miller Takes the Mound
That’s a good sight for the St. Louis fans at home as Shelby Miller has had a fantastic season and has been a fantasy league favorite. Why are certain pitchers fantasy league favorites? Because you get a good outing out of them on a consistent basis.
Miller has allowed 3 runs or less in 13 out of 14 starts this season. The other outing against the Mets, he gave up 4 runs and struck out 10 batters. Shelby Miller is also 5-1 at home with a 0.99 ERA.
Now we know why the Cards took Miller in the 1st round of the draft in 2009. This guy is special and the Rangers will have their hands full.
Miller will be facing a Texas lineup that defeated St. Louis on Friday, 6-4 as every hitter in the Rangers lineup picked up at least 1 hit.
Nelson Cruz picked up 2 hits and 3 RBI’s to increase his seasonal totals to 18 HR and 53 RBI on the season while veteran catcher, A.J. Pierzynski stays consistent and has an average sitting above .300.
This is a Rangers team that can give the Cards a run for the money, but with reliever/starter Martin Perez taking the mound for Texas, they’re at a major disadvantage.
The Cards are heavy favorites here and deservedly so.
Pick –St. Louis -186 for your sports picks
Cincinnati Reds (44-31) at Arizona Diamondbacks (40-33)
Starter Patrick Corbin has been stuck on the number 9 (wins) for quite sometime now and looks to extend his record to 10-0 as he faces a good hitting Cincinnati Reds team with a red hot Jay Bruce and a good road pitcher in Mike Leake.
Take It On the Road
Most pitchers feel most comfortable in their home ballpark , but Leake is 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA on the road in 7 starts. This will make things even more difficult for Corbin (9-0, 2.28) who hasn’t been to pick up his 10th win in his last 3 starts despite allowing just 7 runs in his last 20 1/3 innings.
One comforting thought for Corbin is that the Arizona offense was productive last night in an 11-5 victory over Cincinnati.
The D’Backs picked up 15 hits while leadoff hitter, Gerardo Parra hit his 6th home run of the season in the 1st inning and Paul Goldschmidt planted two shots in the outfield stands to make this a convincing win.
With Goldschmidt (19 HR, 65 RBI, .305 BA) and Parra (6 HR, 24 RBI, .310 BA) at the 1st and 3rd spots in the lineup, this lineup is top- heavy and this will be a tough matchup for Mike Leake.
The Reds have a respectable lineup in their own right with the trio of Joey Votto (.330), Jay Bruce (16 HR), and Brandon Phillips (58 RBI). Bruce has been the hot hitter as of late as he’s hit a home run in 3 consecutive games.
This is a very even matchup of two teams that can hit while also bringing heat to the mound.
The odds also display what a close matchup that this is as the D’Backs are a slim -125 MLB betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 8 runs. I look for the pitching to win out in this situation. Take the UNDER.
Good Luck, everyone!