MLB Picks: Rangers vs. Orioles Series Odds

Willie Bee

Monday, June 30, 2014 12:32 PM GMT

Monday, Jun. 30, 2014 12:32 PM GMT

Baltimore brooms are on standby for Thursday's matchup with the Texas Rangers, but will Mother Nature cooperate and allow the MLB odds series finale to be played?

 

3rd July
Rangers vs. Orioles Game 4

By: Willie Bee

 

Just when it looked like the Texas Rangers might pull out of their tailspin, Baltimore yanked the rug out from under them to put the Orioles on the verge of a 4-game sweep.

Baltimore spotted Texas an early 4-0 lead, then rallied behind home run power for a 6-4 victory in Game 3. The Orioles bullpen bailed starter Chris Tillman out following his poor effort, while Adam Jones and Ryan Flaherty each went deep to extend Baltimore's streak to six consecutive games with at least two homers.

The loss was Texas' eighth straight on the road, and the Rangers now turn to Yu Darvish to stop that string to keep them from suffering a third sweep in the last four series. Wei-Yin Chen gets the call for the O's in the 7:05 PM (ET) start, with Texas small chalk (-115 to -120) and 7.5 showing up on SBR's live MLB odds for the total.

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Chen Unbeaten Vs. Rangers; Yu Sees O's For 1st Time
Darvish bounced back from consecutive road losses to the A's and Angels with eight shutout innings against the Twins last Saturday for a win at home.  The ace of the Texas staff struck out 10 in the contest, his fifth start to record double-digit K's this season, and the victory marked hi 11th straight appearance with a decision.

Thursday marks Darvish's first assignment vs. the Orioles; the Rangers have won five of his seven road starts this year, Darvish pitching to a 3.18 ERA in the 45.1 frames.

Chen missed the Rangers when the clubs met in Arlington, and he'll be looking to extend his dominance over them with a prefect 3-0 record and 1.29 ERA in his three previous assignments vs. Texas.  The Rays slugged three homers off Chen last Saturday in a 5-4 Tampa Bay win, the lefty chased from the mound in the top of the fourth.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Scott Barry is another umpire who has been making frequent appearances on our free picks, Thursday's plate assignment his third straight in our previews after working the finale of last weekend's Mets-Pirates series. That contest fell just short of the mark, his third consecutive 'under,' to leave totals 5-11 O/U in his 16 dish chores.

Wednesday's game was delayed more than an hour and a half in the eighth inning due to rain, and Thursday's tilt doesn't look promising at all with a 90% chance of a thunderstorm popping up from the late afternoon into the evening. This has to be more disconcerting for the Rangers who do not want to see a start by Darvish washed out.

Fading Texas when Darvish is on the hill has not been a profitable wager over his career. The Rangers are 11-4 behind their ace this season, good enough for nearly six units of black ink, and 47-29 over the course of his career. Still, given the current state of the club and how well Baltimore bats are performing, that's what I'm going to do with my free baseball pick on Thursday.

MLB Pick: Orioles +105

Season: 83-78 (+6.05)

 

2nd July
Rangers vs. Orioles Game 3

By: Willie Bee

 

The Baltimore Orioles broke out their home run bats once again on Tuesday night, and the result was an 8-3 victory over the Texas Rangers.  Baltimore banged three long balls one night after hitting four against Texas, giving the Orioles five consecutive games with at least two big flies.

Baltimore's triumph was their second straight in this series, sending Texas to its third straight loss as the Rangers continue to scrounge for healthy arms to send to the mound. Miles Mikolas has been called up from the minors to make Wednesday's start, his first at the major league level and the 11th pitcher Texas will try in the 2014 rotation.

Chris Tillman remains on target to start for the Orioles in the 7:05 PM (ET) contest, and he should be a huge favorite once the MLB odds are adjusted for the Rangers pitching change.

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Saunders' Release Gives Mikolas An Opportunity
Joe Saunders' start in the opener of this series turned out to be his last with the Rangers who released the veteran lefty on Tuesday. That prompted Mikolas' promotion from Triple-A Round Rock where he had made six starts and 10 relief appearances, fashioning a 3.22 overall ERA and fine 38:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in nearly 45 innings. Mikolas spent parts of the last two seasons working as a reliever for the Padres, and will be facing the O's for the first time in his career.

Tillman closed June with a gem, working eight innings and allowing just one run in a 4-1 victory over the Rays last Friday. That performance came on the heels of seven shutout innings to beat the Yankees in New York five days earlier.

He'd rather forget his start to begin June down in Texas where the Rangers sent him to the showers in the second inning having already scored five times. Tillman entered that contest with three straight wins over the Rangers, posting a 2.45 ERA along the way.


Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Toby Basner's name seems to be popping up on our previews a lot, his most recent plate assignment coming in Game 3 of last weekend's set in Pittsburgh between the Pirates and New York Mets. The 5-3 final just got past the total to leave 'over' bettors 8-2 in his contests. This will be his first time to call balls and strikes at Oriole Park.

The final two games of this series are being threatened by rain, tonight's forecast calling for a 50%-60% chance just about the time the first pitch is scheduled. The likelihood of rain increases to 90% on Thursday, and there really isn't a good date in the future for the teams to get together for a make-up, so expect the umpires to do everything in their power to get these contests played.

Baseball bettors will need to keep a browser pointed to SBR's live MLB odds for the official numbers once they're released. The way Baltimore is swinging the bats right now, I'm inclined to be watching the run line for a possible free pick.

MLB Pick: No lines, lean Orioles on run line

Season: 81-78 (+3.55)

 

1st July
Rangers vs. Orioles Game 2

By: Willie Bee

 

Finally, Ubaldo Jimenez gave the fans in Baltimore a glimpse of what he's capable of doing. The big righthander had struggled at Oriole Park this season with an 0-6 record in his eight home assignments before Monday's series opener against the Texas Rangers, but he replaced that zero in the win column with an outstanding effort in a 7-1 decision.

The victory lifted the Orioles, within a game of the Blue Jays, to the top of the AL East division, and they'll try to level their home record Tuesday night in Game 2 of the series.

Baltimore sends TJ McFarland to the hill in the 7:05 PM (ET) matchup, and MLB odds have the O's listed in the low-to-mid -130s for the clash. Texas counters with Nick Martinez with a second consecutive 9.5 run mark for the total.

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O's Shaking Up Rotation In Game 2 Of Series
Texas was winless in Martinez's five June starts, the former Fordham Ram pitching to a 7.94 ERA in 22.2 innings last month. He was on the mound for the Rangers series finale vs. the Tigers last Thursday, and recorded a very ugly linescore that included six hits and five walks while allowing four runs in less than three full frames.

The 0-5 run through June started with a setback against these Orioles, Martinez pulled in the sixth having served up two homers and six runs (4 earned). That was his only appearance to date against Baltimore.

McFarland is making just his second career start Tuesday, and first this season after 14 calls from the 'pen. He has seen Texas just once before, a scoreless inning of relief last season in Baltimore. The southpaw has a 3.44 ERA in a little more than 18 innings at Camden Yards this season, but batters are raking at a .333 clip against McFarland.


Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
The 'over' has been the tendency in games Laz Diaz calls balls and strikes, 10-4-2 O/U/P to date. He did work an 'under' last weekend in Pittsburgh where the Pirates and Mets played 11 innings and still couldn't get past an 8 run mark, but that was the first time in nine games a Diaz plate assignment stayed below the total and both Texas contests he has worked in 2014 went past the mark.

There's a 20% chance of rain this evening in Baltimore, and 100% chance of manager Buck Showalter making frequent trips to the mound in what will effectively be a collective effort by his bullpen in this one. Getting eight strong innings from Jimenez on Monday means his relief corps should be at full strength, and Showalter won't be timid about using them all if he has to.

I'm generally not inclined to play a team when its starting hurler isn't expected to go more than 3-4 innings, but the way the Rangers are going right now, backing the Orioles with my free pick on Tuesday makes sense.

MLB Pick: Orioles -135

Season: 79-78 (+1.55)

 

30th June
Rangers vs. Orioles Game 1

By: Willie Bee

 

They met earlier this month down in the Lone Star State, and now the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers will finish off June with their final regular season series of 2014 in Charm City.

It's the third time in as many seasons that the schedule included a 4-game set between the clubs in Baltimore, and the first of four this week is scheduled for a 7:05 PM (ET) pitch from Ubaldo Jimenez while Texas counters with Joe Saunders on the mound, a rematch from the opener of the previous series. The O's are priced in the low-to-mid -150s on SBR's live baseball odds where a 9.5 run total is also available for bettors.

Baltimore triumphed in two of the three games in Texas about four weeks ago, losing the finale to see a 7-game win streak in the series come to an end. The Orioles have won nearly 60% of all their meetings with the Rangers going back to when Texas called Washington DC home, but the O's are just 53-52 at Camden Yards since it opened in 1992.

All three contests in Arlington sailed past the total, and this rivalry has seen some offensive explosions at times such as Texas' 30-run outburst in Baltimore in the first game of a May 2007 doubleheader. The totals split 2-2 at Oriole Park in 2013 after all four games in 2012 finished 'over' the marks.

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Rangers Head East For Fourth Of July Week
Texas (37-44, -6.7 units, 39-36-6 O/U/P) begins the week only two games ahead of the Astros at the bottom of the AL West standings. Ron Washington's troops just finished a 2-4 homestand that included being swept by Detroit, and hit the road having lost seven of their last nine.

Saunders keeps popping up on our free MLB pick schedule at SBR, Monday's assignment being his fourth straight to be previewed. The veteran southpaw was last on the hill at home vs. the Tigers this past Wednesday, Saunders laboring through four innings while allowing six runs and five walks in an 8-6 Detroit decision.

He worked around 10 hits when he faced the Orioles in Texas, letting just two Baltimore runners score. That turned out to be a no-decision for Saunders in a game the O's won, 8-3. The ERA isn't real pretty in eight career starts at Camden Yards (4.68), but the results have been very good with Saunders winning six of those outings.


Birds Just 1.5 Back Of Blue Jays In AL East
Baltimore (42-39, +4.7 units, 37-42-2 O/U/P) missed a golden opportunity this past weekend to move closer to Toronto at the top of the AL East, losing three of four to the cellar-dwelling Rays. This visit from the Rangers closes an 11-game homestand for the Orioles who are just 19-21 at Camden Yards this season.

One of the worst bets to make in 2014 has been the Orioles when Jimenez is on the mound. Baltimore is 4-12 in the lanky Dominican's 16 starts, costing backers 7.6 units while he pitches to a 4.70 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, both well above his career marks. It has been especially ugly when Jimenez works in front of the home fans, the righthander owning a bloated 6.28 ERA in Baltimore where he is 0-6 and the O's 1-7.

One of the four wins Buck Showalter's team has with Jimenez starting did come against the Rangers in Texas when he matched up against Saunders. Like Saunders, Jimenez earned a no-decision with a 5.2-IP, 1 ER linescore, leaving him 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA vs. the Rangers in seven career starts.

It's not a great weather forecast for this series, with rain chances in the 20%-60% range existing the next four days in Baltimore. Most of Monday's precip is supposed to taper off by game time when temps in the low-to-mid 80s and a SSE wind around 8-10 mph are listed (out to left).

It's too thick of a chalk line to bank on Jimenez, and not enough take-back on the Rangers for me to bet on Saunders. I'm going square with my free pick on the high side of the total.

MLB Pick: Rangers-Orioles Over 9.5 (+100)

Season: 78-77 (+1.55)

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