There are a few reasons why the Texas Rangers have one of the best records in baseball and the biggest run differential overall. The Rangers (37-26) have the best ERA in the American League at 3.55, hit better than any team in MLB with a .283 team batting average and score more than anybody with 332 runs. They needed just one run to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks (30-32) on Wednesday 1-0 and will go for their fourth straight win on Thursday to wrap up a three-game interleague series between the teams.
Texas won the series opener 9-1 on Tuesday and has taken eight of the last nine meetings with Arizona dating back to 2000. However, the team will be sending a winless starting to the pitcher on the mound in the finale when Scott Feldman (0-5, 6.39 ERA) toes the rubber against Daniel Hudson (2-1, 6.06) and the Diamondbacks.
Feldman has suffered all five of his losses in his last five appearances without much offensive help from his Ranger teammates, who have not scored more than three runs in any of those games. In three of those losses, he has given up two earned runs or less while the opponents have averaged seven runs in the five games overall.
Fortunately for Feldman, he will be pitching at home, where he is 0-2 in five games with a solid 2.45 ERA. During his losing streak, he has pitched at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington twice and failed to allow more than two earned runs both times. He is winless in two career appearances vs. Arizona with a 4.05 ERA.
Hudson has not been much better for the Diamondbacks, who have supported him with nearly five runs per game when he has pitched this season. In his worst start of the season last time out at home against the Oakland Athletics last Friday, he surrendered six runs and eight hits in 1.2 innings but saw his team rally for a 9-8 victory. Hudson is 1-0 in two road starts with a 6.17 ERA and walked away with a no-decision at Colorado back on April 13 despite giving up six runs and 10 hits to the Rockies in 3.2 innings.
The most logical bet in this situation with two struggling pitchers is to take the OVER, which has also cashed in five of the last seven meetings. One of the two exceptions during that stretch just happened, so the odds of a much higher-scoring game seems more than likely on Thursday.
Free Baseball Pick: OVER 10.5