Diamondbacks at Rangers Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 5/29/2013
With the Houston Astros moving to the American League this season, it assured that there would be at least one interleague series every day of the season (sans off days). It also brought some unique scheduling for a team's primary rival: i.e. Cubs-White Sox, Yankees-Mets. Those season series have been cut from six games to four, with a two-game series in each team's park this week.
The Astros used to be the primary rival for the Texas Rangers, but now that designation goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Snakes and Rangers already finished their two-game set in Phoenix, playing a doubleheader on Monday with Arizona sweeping it. Why the teams didn't play one of those games Tuesday is beyond me considering they are the only two teams in baseball without a game scheduled that day. Regardless, the Rangers look for a little payback starting Wednesday night in Arlington. They are on a season-high three-game losing streak.
Diamondbacks at Rangers Betting Story Lines
Two of the best young shortstop prospects in the game are on display in this one. Arizona has 23-year-old Didi Gregorius of the Netherlands. Yu Darvish struck out 14 Diamondbacks in Monday night's second game (his third 14 strikeout game of the year) of the doubleheader, but Gregorius homered off Darvish to tie the game at 4-4 in the eighth. The Diamondbacks won it on a Cliff Pennington RBI single in the top of the ninth. Gregorius is hitting .324 with four homers and 11 RBI in 29 games this season. Martin Prado, acquired in the Justin Upton trade, is finally starting to hit for Arizona, batting .417 in the past week. He's up to .257 after hitting . 217 in April.
The truly special prospect to watch in this one is the Rangers' Jurickson Profar, the top-rated prospect in MLB. While he played shortstop in the minors, the 20-year-old is playing second base right now with Ian Kinsler on the disabled list. The Rangers already have a stellar shortstop in Elvis Andrus, so Profar will have to move somewhere else. He's hitting .305 with a homer and six RBI in six big-league games. The team wants him to play every day, so the plan was to ship him back to Triple-A when Kinsler is ready on June 2, but Profar might force the team to keep him. He led off Sunday's game with a home run to become the youngest MLB player to lead off a game with a homer in 55 years and fifth-youngest all-time (Mickey Mantle is on that list).
The Diamondbacks start righty and former Ranger Brandon McCarthy (2-4, 4.36). After a very slow start to the season, he has been great of late, allowing just one run and 15 hits over 24 innings in his past three starts. McCarthy, who pitched with Texas from 2007-09 (when healthy), is 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA in his career against the Rangers. Adrian Beltre will be licking his chops as the Rangers' third baseman is hitting .419 with two homers and nine RBI in 31 career at-bats versus McCarthy. Beltre is raking in May with a .349 average, five homers and 20 RBI.
Texas counters with rookie right-hander Justin Grimm (4-3, 4.05). The Rangers have won his past two starts, with Grimm allowing five runs and 17 hits over 13 innings. Texas had lost his previous three straight starts. Grimm has been way better at home with a 2.79 ERA. The only Diamondback to have ever faced Grimm is Pennington, and that was just two at-bats. Arizona will use the DH for the second series this season. Clearly it will be a lefty hitter (Eric Chavez moving over from third?) against Grimm. Outfielder Gerardo Parra should be able to play after leaving Monday's second game with a calf cramp. He's hitting .307 this season with four homers. Prado injured his knee in Game 1 Monday but did pinch-hit in Game 2.
Diamondbacks at Rangers MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, Texas opened at -130 and Arizona at +120 with the total at 9.5. The Diamondbacks are 19-31-2 “over/under” (9-15 on road) and 27-25 on the runline. The Rangers are 20-29-3 O/U (7-14-1 at home) and 26-26 on the runline.
Arizona is 6-2 in its past eight following an off day. The Diamondbacks are 7-3 in their past 10 against a righty starter. They are 9-4 in their past 13 following a win but 1-4 in their past five interleague road games. The Rangers are 6-1 in their past seven following an off day. Texas is 6-1 in its past seven interleague home games against a right-handed starter. The Rangers are 7-3 in their past 10 home games against teams with a winning record. The under is 5-0 in Arizona's past five road games. The under is 8-2 in the Snakes' past 10 following an off day. The under is 5-2-1 in McCarthy's past eight starts. The under is 6-2 in the Rangers' past eight after an off day. The under is 11-4 in Texas' past five vs. teams with a winning record. Arizona is 1-7 in its past eight visits to Texas.
Diamondbacks at Rangers Picks and MLB Betting Predictions
Even with Monday's sweep, the Rangers generally love interleague play as they have won 38 of their past 57 games against the National League. Many of the Texas hitters know McCarthy well, while Grimm will be a mystery to Arizona. Texas also will want to stop that losing streak ASAP. Take the Rangers and the under.
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