Among three inter-league series opening Tuesday is a short
2-game set in
Wednesday's Matchup Report
By: Willie Bee
The Milwaukee Brewers came out with their bats blazing on Tuesday to take Game 1 of their series with the Texas Rangers and help us cash our MLB picks on the total. The victory snapped a 5-game losing skid, and the Brewers can now sweep this mini 2-game series when the set concludes Wednesday at Miller Park.
Morning MLB odds favor Milwaukee to do just that behind Kyle Lohse. The Brewers are slight favorites around -115 as they prepare to battle Rangers lefty Derek Holland, and bettors are faced with an 8 run total.
Milwaukee plated five in the first inning Tuesday before many of the 22,467 fans in attendance had gotten to their seats. Yuniesky Betancourt capped the early outburst with a 2-run jack, his eighth of the season, and a late homer from Aramis Ramirez pushed the game just past the total for the 6-3 final score.
Holland will be facing the Brewers for the first time, and hopes for similar results as his only other interleague start this year. The southpaw blanked the Cubs at Wrigley for seven innings on April 16, allowing just two hits while whiffing six in a 4-2 Rangers victory. He's coming off eight innings of shutout baseball vs. the Red Sox in Texas last Friday.
Lohse experienced his worst start of the campaign the last time out, but has pitched much better than his 1-3 record would indicate. The Brewers are 2-4 in Lohse's six assignments, scoring just two runs in the four defeats while the righthander posted a 3.24 in the outings.
The last time Lohse faced the Rangers was Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, a 16-7 Cardinals victory over Texas. He didn't stay on the mound long enough to figure in the decision and hasn't faced Texas in a regular season game since his days with the Twins in 2006.
Tim Timmons started 2013 with an UNDER in his first plate assignment, but the 14-year veteran umpire has since been behind the dish for five consecutive OVERS. All signs point to the roof being open at Miller Park with temps in the mid-60s and clear skies in the first-pitch forecast.
Texas has yet to lose three straight this season, and I don't expect that to change on Wednesday when the Rangers earn a split in this 2-game set. Don't leave the SBR site before you take in our preview and pick for Game 3 of the Blue Jays-Rays series that currently finds Toronto up two-zip.
My pick: Rangers +105 at The Greek
Tuesday's Matchup Previews
By: Willie Bee
Chicks dig the long ball, or so we were told years ago during the heyday of the Steroids Area. The game's allegedly cleaner now, but Miller Park might be a good place to meet the ladies the next two days when home runs could be the prominent stat for a short interleague series.
Beer City is the site for a quick 2-game set as the Milwaukee Brewers host the Texas Rangers. The Brew Crew will return the visit for two games in mid-August, one of the strange twists to this year's new scheduling format, and this half of the season series features two of the more powerful lineups colliding in the best park for home run hitters this season.
Texas went out as -115 to -125 chalk on the overnight MLB odds, but 5Dimes has it a pick 'em now. The baseball betting total is 8.5 (O -115) for the contest that begins with a duel between Justin Grimm for the visitors and Wily Peralta for the home team.
Miller Park is well on its way to being the most home-run happy yard in the majors in 2013. The first 19 games in Milwaukee produced 61 jacks, more than three per game. Toronto's Rogers Centre is five homers behind in as many games, and these two games should help Miller Park stretch that lead out with the 8th-9th most HR prolific lineups squaring off while the Blue Jay are on the road in Tampa Bay this week, another series SBR is previewing.
Milwaukee and Texas have met 339 times during the regular season, but just six of those have come since realignment in 1998 made it an interleague matchup. The most recent clash came at Miller Park in 2010 when the Rangers and UNDER cashed two times out of three.
Brewers Get Day Off After Cardinals Sweep
Milwaukee had Monday off, and the rare break during the middle of a homestand probably couldn't have come at a better time for Ron Roenicke's club. After winning 12 of 15 to end April, the Brewers have promptly fallen flat with five straight defeats to begin May. All five have been at home, and all against NL Central rivals with the Cardinals brooming four of them this past weekend.
Pitching has been the downfall so far. A 4.60 ERA ranks 27th in the majors, and the starters are responsible for most of that figure.
Peralta is coming off a blowup against St. Louis last Thursday. Redbird hitters struck him for six runs on 11 hits, leaving the Brewers 3-3 in his assignments despite his 6.00 ERA. The opposition is hitting nearly .350 off Peralta in his four home starts (20.1 IP), and Tuesday marks his first career interleague start.
Rangers Continue 4-City Tour In Milwaukee
Texas opened a 9-game, 4-city road trip Monday night in Chicago where the Rangers fell to the Cubs by a 9-2 count. That contest was originally rained out on April 17 and stopped a Rangers 3-game win streak as they arrive in Milwaukee.
The Rangers still enjoy a 2.5 game lead in the American League West and rank second in the majors with a 3.19 staff ERA, and Grimm has been a big part of the team's mound success since moving into the rotation for an injured Matt Harrison. The former Georgia Bulldog has pocketed three straight quality starts while striking out 24 in 23.2 innings. Grimm is a fly ball pitcher, however, and that attribute will be tested at this home run haven.
There's no official word yet on the Miller Park roof this evening. Current weather forecasts call for clear skies and the thermometer around 60º at game time, then dropping into the 50s as the game progresses. Bettors can call for roof info closer to game time (800.774.8587).
I'll entrust my dough to the lineups tonight with a play on the OVER. Don't forget to check back Wednesday for another free pick in this short interleague series.
My MLB pick: Rangers-Brewers Over 8.5 (-115)