When handicapping this MLB matchup, note that this is a "penthouse to the outhouse" game, featuring a play-against a team with a phony record who is due to continue their recent downward momentum.
Minnesota Twins (Milone) vs. Texas Rangers (W. Rodriguez) 8:05 ET
The Minnesota Twins visit the Texas Rangers for the first of a 3-game weekend series at 8:05 on Friday night. Today's matchup features teams with winning records who have overachieved their preseason expectations. While we have profited from the Twins downward slide, there is a bit of trepidation that we catch the Rangers at the start of their own losing streak. Nonetheless, with the Twins' downward spiral expecting to continue and the starting pitching matchup clearly in our favor, we must favor the Texas Rangers in this one.
Minnesota is a team who is expected to barely exceed the 70-wins of last year, the most in their recent 3 seasons. A 6-10 beginning to the season confirmed the continued decline, then the Twins reeled off a 27-13 mark because of a favorable schedule and numerous close victories. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way. In the last 5 games, Minnesota has scored just 12 runs. They are on negative runs of 3-7 and 0-3, sending Milone to the mound is far from a positive indicator. In a trio of recent starts, Milone has a 6.75 ERA. In 8 recent starts against Texas, Milone has a 4.95 ERA. I consider both Minnesota and Milone to be prime PLAY AGAINST candidates for MLB picks.
The Texas Rangers are among the more surprising turnaround stories of the season. Finishing an injury plagued 2014 season on the losing side of the ledger, left little hope for Texas. A 7-15 start confirmed it. The Rangers followed that with a 24-14 run that concluded with Texas winning 15 of 19 games. My only concern is that a pair of losses in Oakland may have slowed their momentum. Wandy Rodriguez, however, has been reborn and reenergized. In his most recent 4 starts, Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA. In addition, Rodriguez has an outstanding recent history against the Twins with a record of 1-0 and 1.98 ERA in two recent starts. MLB handicappers must favor him to get the better of a struggling Minnesota team.
MLB odds makers have set a fair price on a Texas team whose run may not have ended. We certainly want no part of either Minnesota or Milone. Lay the mid-price with Texas with the thoughts they will be reenergized coming home against a Twins' baseball team who has played their worst ball on the road.
MLB Picks: Rangers -130 at YouWager