MLB Picks: Rangers vs. Cubs

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:54 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013 1:54 PM GMT

The Texas Rangers haven’t hit a home run against left-handed pitching this season, as they prepare to open up a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this interleague matchup at Wrigley Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.

Stepping outside the division

Texas has played 10 of its first 13 games this season against American League West opponents, including a 4-3 setback to the Seattle Mariners as -134 road favorites Sunday, while the UNDER is on a 5-0-1 run in its last six contests.

The Rangers are 26-17 in interleague play since the start of the 2011 campaign, with the UNDER going 24-18-1 in that situation.

Disappointing homestand thus far

Chicago is 2-4 on its current nine-game homestand, which includes suffering a 10-7 defeat to the San Francisco Giants as -103 underdogs Sunday, while the UNDER is 4-2 in those affairs. 

The Cubs are 8-2 in their last 10 home games against left-handed starters, while the UNDER is 17-8-6 in their last 31 opportunities in that particular role.

Holland

Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland (0-1, 2.40 ERA) has received just three runs of support in his two outings, as he suffered a 2-0 home loss to the Tampa Bay Rays last time out—allowing two runs and five hits over eight strong innings.

The left-hander was 6-3 with a 3.65 ERA in 13 road games (12 starts) during the 2012 season, which was nearly two runs better than his ERA (5.55) at Rangers Ballpark.

In nine career interleague starts, Holland has compiled a dismal 1-5 record and 5.96 ERA, including a 0-1 mark and 4.58 ERA in two efforts on the road.

Wood

Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood (1-0, 1.46 ERA) has led the team to two victories, including a 6-3 home win over the Milwaukee Brewers a week ago, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and seven hits over 6.1 innings of work.

The left-hander is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in five career interleague starts, but he’s never faced the Rangers since entering the league in 2010.

[gameodds]3/224893/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cubs as one of their MLB picks Tuesday night, as the Rangers are 2-7 in Holland’s nine outings versus NL teams and have yet to hit a home run against left-handed pitching this season in 110 at-bats.

Texas is also expected to be without the services of top hitter Lance Berkman, who signed with the team to act as its designated hitter, but will likely be relegated to pinch-hitting duties in this series.

MLB Pick:  Chicago Cubs +125 at Pinnacle

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