I told you early last week that the Texas Rangers were in dire need of a hot streak in order to stay relevant in the American League West. The complete opposite has happened. The Rangers have dropped four straight and now head into the ESPN Sunday Night Game looking to salvage the final game of a three-game set in Anaheim.
Also on my agenda tonight are games in Colorado and Arizona. Let’s get to the MLB action.
Texas Rangers (-125) at LA Angels (+105), O/U 8 – Yu Darvish 7-3 vs. Matt Shoemaker 4-1 If the Texas Rangers had a guy to put a stop to their four-game slide then Yu Darvish would be that guy. He takes the hill tonight looking to keep the Rangers’ heads above water. Texas is now 11.5 games out of first place and with the Angels in second 5.5 games ahead of them, time is of the essence.
Darvish was beaten by the Oakland A’s in a five inning stint in his last outing but he is 2-1 in his last three with an ERA of 3.43. His opponent on the hill is Shoemaker who is 4-1 in his six starts this season. His most recent start was very impressive as he went eight innings giving up just two runs in a win over Cleveland.
While the focus of this game appears to be on the Rangers, we can’t lose sight of what the Angels are attempting to do either. Were the playoffs to begin today, the Angels would be one of the Wild-Cards but they aren’t focused on that. Although they have won two straight, the Athletics have won five straight and are threatening to run away with the AL West.
Yes, it’s just June but the Angels have to careful here. While they cannot win the division or a Wild-Card this month they sure can lose it. I like the Angels tonight behind the solid pitching of Shoemaker and I like the UNDER as well.
Milwaukee (-130) at Colorado (+110), O/U NL – Kyle Lohse 8-2 vs. Tyler Matzek 1-1 The Brewers have won three-straight and have gone 7-3 over their last ten games. They hold a 5.5 game lead over the second place St Louis Cardinals and are looking for the sweep in Denver today. Conversely, the Rockies have dropped five in a row and are now trailing the NL West Leading San Francisco Giants by 10 full games.
Colorado has Matzek on the hill and he has gone 1-1 in just two starts this season. His season ERA of 3.75 isn’t horrible especially for a guy pitching in Coors Field but he’ll need to be very good to beat Lohse. Lohse has had a very solid season but his last three starts have seen his ERA at 5.21.
Call me crazy here but I like the Rockies today.
San Francisco (-150) at Arizona (+130), O/U 8.5 – Madison Bumgarner 8-4 vs. Michael Bolsinger 1-2 The National League West leaders have struggled recently going just 2-8 over their last ten ballgames. Their lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers has shrunk to four games.
The Diamondbacks meanwhile haven’t fared much better going 3-7 in their last ten outings. Arizona has been a huge disappointment in 2014 and they find themselves 14 games out of first place out West.
Bumgarner takes the hill today having gone 1-1 with a very good ERA of 2.86 and that just builds on what has already been an impressive season. His opponent Bolsinger has made just five starts in 2014 and is 0-1 with an ERA of 6.06 in his last three starts.
Arizona is the type of opponent that San Francisco needs to beat and they’ll do that today in Phoenix. Take the OVER as well.