It's not too often you will see a team in last place with a positive run differential, but that was the case with the Texas Rangers in the AL West entering this week. The Rangers have one of the best offenses in baseball, but their bullpen has been a total disaster - mainly closer Sam Dyson. He blew a third save in three tries on Sunday and has a 27.00 ERA. Manager Jeff Bannister obviously had no choice but to say something had to be done in that role. Dyson was quite good in 2016 with 38 saves and a 2.43 ERA in his first year as a full-time closer. He was conveniently placed on the DL with a hand injury Monday. Jeremy Jeffress and Matt Bush are the most likely candidates to take over the ninth inning, with Bush getting the first chance. The bullpen overall was 1-5 with one save in six chances, a 6.27 ERA and seven home runs allowed in 37 innings as of Monday.
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Rangers at A's ( -120, 8 )
A 3:35 p.m. ET matinee. The Rangers have blown three leads of at least four runs this season, and they have yet to win a game in which they have scored fewer than eight runs. They give the ball to lefty Martin Perez (1-1, 2.20), who has been very good but generally won't go more than six innings because of occasional control problems. He went five last time out in Seattle, allowing a run and six hits. Perez shut out Oakland over 5.1 innings on April 9 in Arlington. Khris Davis is 6-for-13 career off him with two doubles and a homer. Oakland's Jesse Hahn (0-1, 3.75) pitched at Texas in his season debut and allowed two runs in six innings in a no-decision. Nomar Mazara is 3-for-6 off him with a homer and two RBIs. Rougned Odor is 2-for-7 with two doubles.
Key trends: The Rangers are 4-1 in Perez's past five in Oakland. The "over/under" is 5-2 in the past seven Perez starts vs. the A's (any location).
Early lean: Rangers and over.
White Sox at Yankees (-212, 8)
The White Sox plucked Dylan Covey from the Rule 5 Draft and they have had to use him in the rotation because of the injury to projected No. 2 starter Carlos Rodon. The 25-year-old Covey made his big-league debut last Friday in Minnesota and took a no-decision, allowing one run and five hits over 5.1 innings. Originally a 2010 first-round draft pick of the Brewers, Covey instead attended college after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just days before the signing deadline. Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 8.36) had his first quality start of the season on Friday vs. St. Louis in giving up three runs and five hits over 6.1 innings. He was 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts last year vs. the White Sox. Melky Cabrera is 4-for-11 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Yankees are 6-0 in Tanaka's past six vs. the AL Central. The over is 5-1 in those.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Giants at Royals (+122, 7.5)
It's a rematch of the 2014 World Series, and the reason the Giants took that Fall Classic in seven games was because of ace Madison Bumgarner. He won two games as a starter and then on two days of rest in Game 7 in Kansas City, he threw five shutout innings to earn the save in one of the truly great postseason performances ever. The lefty returns to Kaufmann Stadium on Wednesday in this interleague series finale in which San Francisco adds the DH. Bumgarner (0-2, 2.43) is winless despite three quality starts. He'll probably be a bit PO'd that he can't bat. It's lefty Jason Vargas (2-0, 0.66) for the Royals, who has been great after missing a large chunk of 2015 and nearly all of last year following Tommy John surgery. The Giants' Buster Posey is 2-for-7 off Vargas with a homer. Posey was expected to be activated Tuesday off the seven-day concussion DL.
Key trends: The Giants are 5-1 in Bumgarner's past six interleague starts. The Royals are 8-0 in Vargas' past eight at home. The under is 9-0 in his past nine overall.
Early lean: Royals and under.
Indians at Twins (+114, 9)
ESPN game. The Tribe start Trevor Bauer (0-2, 8.44), who hasn't been good thus far. Bauer was tagged for six runs and eight hits over five innings last time out vs. Detroit. The Twins haven't been good for a few years, but Bauer struggles against them, going 1-5 with a 5.32 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 11 career starts. Joe Mauer is 10-for-28 off him with six doubles. Brian Dozier is just 3-for-26. Minnesota rookie left-hander Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 4.05) has only faced the White Sox in his first two-big league starts. Mejia won the No. 5 starter's spot in spring training after Trevor May had season-ending Tommy John surgery. He was acquired last summer from the Giants for Eduardo Nunez.
Key trends: The Indians are 1-4 in Bauer's past five vs. the Twins. The under is 3-1-1 in those.
Early lean: Indians and over.
Rockies at Dodgers (-275, 6)
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.53) is a competitive dude so he'll likely be a bit more fired up than usual for this one because the Rockies knocked him around a bit in Coors Field on April 8 in hitting three homers (first time he ever allowed back-to-back homers) off Kershaw and beating him. Kershaw predictably bounced back with a great effort Saturday vs. Arizona in allowing one run and four hits over 8.1 innings. Nolan Arenado hits .333 off him with two homers in 36 at-bats. Colorado's Tyler Anderson (1-2, 8.59) has yet to go more than 5.2 innings in his three starts this season and has allowed at least four earned in each of them. Anderson has allowed six walks, and five of those runners have scored.He lost to the Dodgers on April 9 at home. Corey Seager is 4-for-12 off him with a homer. Justin Turner is 7-for-12 with a dinger.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 13-1 in Kershaw's past 14 at home vs. the Rockies. The over is 5-1 in his past six in L.A. against them.
Early lean: Dodgers and over.
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