MLB Pick & Preview- Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers
The Minnesota Twins will look to make it three in-a-row over the Texas Rangers when the two wrap-up their four-game series tonight at Rangers Ballpark. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. (ET) and the game will be available on MLB TV.
Minnesota is coming off back-to-back victories over Texas after hammering the Rangers 7-2 last night as a 178 road underdog. This followed a 9-8 win as a 201 underdog on Tuesday. The Twins are now 49-55 overall and six games in back of Detroit in the AL Central. They are 26-25 at home and 23-30 on the road.
The Minnesota pitching staff allowed a total of 34 runs in its last three games before last night’s two-run effort including 20 in the loss to Texas on Monday. Scott Baker will try and tame the Rangers tonight as he is slated to get the start in this one. He is 8-5 this season with a 2.88 ERA in 18 starts. He missed a few starts with some soreness in his elbow, but looked solid last Saturday in five scoreless innings against Detroit. Baker is 4-2 against Texas with a 4.41 ERA.
Texas is suddenly back in a dog fight in the AL West as its 12 game winning streak earlier this month has given way to a 3-5 record in its last eight. The Rangers are 59-46 overall and have a two-game lead over Los Angeles in the division. They are 25-25 on the road and 34-21 at home.
The solid pitching that was largely responsible for the recent winning streak has now given up an average of 5.13 runs in its last eight games. Matt Harrison is scheduled to be on the mound tonight for Texas. The left-hander has gone 5-3 with an ERA of 2.40 in his last 12 starts and is 8-7 overall with a 3.05 ERA. He is 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA in limited action against Minnesota.
Head-to-head this season, the Twins now have a 5-2 edge after winning the last two. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of the seven games.
It is hard to see either of these pitchers keeping the other team’s bats in check as balls have been flying all over Rangers Ballpark in this series. That being the case, stick with Texas to pound out enough runs to salvage a split in this series.
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