After struggling at the plate the last few games I'm looking for the Rangers to have a break out today against the Diamondbacks. The total is slightly high, but I'll back the over with my MLB pick.
MLB odds makers have come out with a total of 9.5 for this game which is pretty high, especially if the game is not in Colorado. Still, there is some value on this line because at most sports book the total is on the plus money line, albeit slightly. The best odds I have found right now are at Heritage sports book where the line is at +105 and Pinnacle sports book where the line is that +104.
For the Diamondbacks Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound with a 5.06 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He has not been nearly as horrible as his high ERA indicates at times this season. He simply has been hot and cold, and today I am looking for him to have an off day against a good home offense in the Rangers. In his last five games for example he has looked good and he has looked bad, in three of the games he was solid allowing five earned runs in just 19 innings, but in his other two games he allowed 12 earned runs in just eight innings. The constant between those two games were that they were on the road which he is also today in Texas. For the Rangers Matt Harrison takes the hill and is coming off of injury making his first start of the season. Career wise he comes in with a 4.15 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, and is hard to gauge on how he will perform. But two things come to mind in this scenario, first of all pitchers that have been coming back from injury recently have not been very successful in their first outings like Matt Cain and Matt Moore. Second, is that Harrison has not looked great in his rehab assignment with an ERA over 6.00 in his six starts in the minors.
Both the Rangers and the Diamondbacks would be considered among the better offenses in the major leagues with the Diamondbacks ranking fourth in runs scored per game and the Rangers ranking 10th. Recently, in a few other games the Rangers have not been as consistent at the plate as they have been all season but I look for them to have a really good day at home against Hellickson. Statistically both these teams rank in the upper part of the league in most every major offensive category, like in slugging where Arizona ranks ninth in the Rangers 11th. For Texas they do most of their damage at home and although Arizona ranks sixth in the league in batting average hitting .264 and the Rangers rank only 21st hitting .248, at home they hit .266 which is good enough for 10th in the major leagues.
Don't look for either of these pitchers to have much success today. With Arizona being one of the top offenses in the league and Texas being one of the better hitting home we should see a lot of quality at-bats today. Add in the fact that Hellickson can really struggle at times and Harrison is just making his first start back this game could get ugly in a hurry, back the over with confidence.
MLB Pick: Over at Heritage