With 2 weeks remaining in the season see who we like for our MLB Picks of the Day as some teams are stepping up while others are falling apart and ready to call it a season.
Joe C.Record 142-92 +39.66 Units
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers: The Emergence of the Texas Rangers
People haven't taken the Rangers seriously all season long, including MLB odds makers, and they have picked the best time to get hot as they've swept a 4 game series from the Houston Astros and have taken over the lead in the American League West Division.
The Rangers have actually won 5 straight games and fall into a desirable series against a weak Seattle Mariners club. Now, is the time for Texas to go in for the kill with the Astros 2.5 games behind them and the Los Angeles Angels 5 games behind.
To me, what also makes the Rangers a desirable team is their attractive road record. The Rangers are 41-34 on the road and if they were to make the playoffs, they could see a lot of action on the road and this will come in handy. Tonight, the Rangers must face Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, and the Mariners and these are two players that can't be overlooked.
The Rangers have been averaging nearly 10 runs per game in their last 3 games and a big reason for this is the play of Prince Fielder. Fielder started his career quick out of the gates when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers and then had a couple of average seasons. Detroit gave up on him and what's Detroit's loss is Texas' gain.
Fielder is an established star that provided Miguel Cabrera backup in the Detroit lineup. In the Texas lineup, he's the go to guy and is hitting his peak in his career. The home run derby star is sometimes overlooked for his size, but this guy has great hand to eye contact combined with power and that's what makes him one of the All-Stars in this league.
Just look at some of his recent numbers. Fielder is batting .400 in his last 30 at-bats with 3 HR and 10 RBI. His seasonal on base percentage is the statistic that stands out to me as he has a .383 OBP% . Fielder is getting on base on a regular basis and putting Texas in an adventageous position as he's hitting .313 on the season. Combine that with his pure power and he has opposing pitchers shaking in their cleats.
Paxton Gets the Start
You look at his ERA of 3.82 and opposing hitters are hitting just .235 off of him and that looks appealing. That said in his last 2 starts, James Paxton has only managed 7 2/3 innings and has gotten a quick hook and 2 consecutive losses. He's coming into this game with no momentum and I look for Texas to beat up on him and send him to an early shower.
MLB Pick: Texas Rangers -145 at The Greek 3 UNIT PLAY
Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals: Two Great Pitchers
Max Scherzer (12-11, 2.91) hasn't had his best season despite the sub.3.00 ERA and his team is facing the prospect of not making the playoffs, barring a miracle finish.
Scherzer and the Nats also face the prospect of dealing with Miami flame thrower, Jose Fernandez. Fernandez has the opportunity of being one of the best 3 pitchers in baseball if he can stay healthy and that been his Achilees Heel, thus far in his short career.
Thus far, Fernandez is a perfect 6-0 this season to go along with a 2.06 ERA. Even though I see this game being a low scoring game, I look for Miami to treat Fernandez cautiously, in hopes that he makes it through the season healthy.
Fernandez will have to face a Nationals team which still has something to play for despite a loss yesterday. With the Mets idle yesterday, Washington is 8 games behind New York with 16 games remaining in the season.
The Nationals will need Bryce Harper to continue his excllence as his batting average is up to an amazing .340 with 40 HR and 92 RBI. Harper's OBP% is close to .500 and that is MVP caliber. This game will be dependant upon how many innings that Fernandez pitches because Washington has a deep lineup that hasn't given up on the season. Expect a low scoring affair in this one and add the UNDER to your MLB picks Friday night.
MLB Pick: Washington & Miami Under 6.5 (+110) at 5Dimes 2 UNIT PLAY