While the Orioles are on a downward trend, the Rangers are making a late push for the playoffs. Which MLB picks stand out most for tonight's game in Arlington?
The MLB odds are extremely tight for this evening's matchup between Texas and Baltimore, but it's the Orioles that are the ever-so-slight favorites at -110. You can back the Rangers at even money at most of the top sportsbooks.
These two offenses can be pretty powerful on their day, and in the hot Arlington air, it's no shock at all to see a high total of nine runs on the board. We're expecting to see a lot of success from hitters on both sides in this one.
Texas Rangers (Perez)
The Rangers earned their second straight win yesterday and continue to make their push for a playoff spot. They remain four games behind the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West, but they've made up a ton of ground in recent weeks and are now within striking distance.
After grabbing a series-opening victory yesterday, Texas now turns to left-hander Martin Perez to try and keep the momentum going. The 24-year-old southpaw hasn't been very effective so far this season, going 1-3 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, but he has managed to settle down a little bit in recent outings; Perez has surrendered three or fewer earned runs in four consecutive starts to lower his ERA from 10.50 down to 5.30. Hey, it's progress.
Perez has struggled when pitching at home in 2015, recording a 6.46 ERA over his three assignments, and now he'll have to come to terms with a powerful Baltimore lineup. As long as the left-hander can avoid major damage, the Rangers will be in a great position to pick up a third consecutive win.
Baltimore Orioles (Jimenez)
It's been a brutal couple of weeks for the Orioles, who have seen their stock plummet. They've lost eight of their last nine games overall and are now two games under .500 overall (63-65) on the season. Kevin Gausman was the losing pitcher in yesterday's defeat, and now the onus falls on Ubaldo Jimenez to try and help Baltimore turn things around before it's too late.
Jimenez is 9-8 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.36 WHIP this season. He's been a mess as of late, especially in his most recent start in which he allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs over just 5 and 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander has now failed to complete six innings in any of his last three outings, which has coincided with this bad spell of form for the Orioles overall. Jimenez has also been even worse away from home, going 3-6 with a 5.13 ERA the road, far worse marks than what he's done at home (6-2, 3.36 ERA).
Clearly, Baltimore has to start turning the corner and getting back to their winning ways, and the Orioles will try to do just that against an exploitable Perez.
We don't see much of an edge in picking either one of these teams, as we don't trust Perez and Jimenez much at all.
So, we're going to pivot to a different play and instead back the two offenses to come through at the plate. The Orioles have some lefty mashers like Manny Machado and Adam Jones who will be licking their lips at the prospects of this matchup, and the Rangers have some left-handed bats (Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland, etc.) that could do some serious damage against an inconsistent Jimenez.
Tonight's game is setting up to be one of the most high-scoring of the day, so we feel good about adding the OVER to our collection of MLB picks, in spite of the high number.
MLB Pick: OVER 9 at 5Dimes