Rodriguez-Norris Pitching Matchup Will Keep Rangers vs. Orioles Over Total Runs

David Lawrence

Monday, June 29, 2015 1:33 PM GMT

The Baltimore Orioles have finally begun to look like the team many MLB betting cappers expected they would be in 2015. Can they keep it going against the Rangers for our MLB picks?

Momentum
As far as momentum is concerned, the Orioles have all of it and the Rangers have none of it. Baltimore has finally caught fire. The O's struggled a lot at the plate, but they've begun to hit the ball authoritatively and consistently. The Orioles have scored at least four runs in eight of their last nine games and 11 of their last 13. They're getting production up and down the lineup, and they've also done this both at home and on the road, which is what has to be really encouraging for them. They've won seven of eight games to tie the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East. Being seven games over .500 is a high-water mark for the season to date.

The Rangers are severely declining after having played great baseball in previous weeks. From June 5 through June 19, Texas went 10-5, winning series against both the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers, two of the toughest teams in baseball. The Rangers moved several games above .500 and came within two games of the Houston Astros for the lead in the American League West. Since that two-week run, however, the Rangers have lost ground. They've dropped seven of their last eight, scoring more than three runs only twice in that span and more than four runs only once. The Rangers are failing to collect the timely hits that had been flowing earlier in June, and as a result, they're back at .500 just a few weeks before the All-Star break.

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Pitching Matchup
The Rangers are going to give the ball to Wandy Rodriguez, who has a 4.06 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. In the month of June, though, Rodriguez has been much worse than in April and May. In June, he's posted a 5.09 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. He's gotten tagged, especially in his most recent start on June 24 when he surrendered eight runs on 11 hits in four innings against Oakland, a bad hitting team. Rodriguez has gone through several starts this season in which he's given up one run in roughly seven innings or three runs in 5 2/3 innings. You'd probably expect him to lean toward the latter figure in this game, given how well the Orioles are swinging the bats.

Baltimore will send Bud Norris to the bump. Norris is an inversion of Rodriguez. Whereas Rodriguez was strong in April and May and poor in June, Norris has been solid in June after enduring a very rough start to his season. Norris made six starts early in the season, racked up a 9.88 ERA, and then got injured. After a month off, he returned to the rotation, and in his last four post-injury starts, he's knocked his ERA down to 6.70, just over three whole runs. Norris' last start is a hard one to measure, though. He gave up no earned runs, but he did give up five unearned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and a homer, but his defense let him down. It's hard to say where Norris will be in this game in terms of effectiveness.

 

What’s The Pick?
The Orioles are in such a groove, and Wandy Rodriguez is not in a groove right now. While that might lead you to side with the Orioles on the MLB betting lines, the challenge is that Norris has not pitched well at home this season. The O’s have lost four of his last six starts overall and at home, he’s allowed 18 earned runs in 20.1 innings pitched. Opponents bat .314 against him. That being the case, go with the over in this spot with your MLB picks.

MLB Pick: Over at GT Bets