The Texas Rangers have the best record in baseball so far this season. The Rangers have been in the World Series in consecutive years, and they look like they could get back a third time this season. Minnesota started off the season with the worst record in baseball, but they have been playing much better of late. Can the Twins take down the mighty Texas Rangers on Saturday evening in Arlington?
Samuel Deduno will make his first start as a member of the Minnesota Twins on Saturday evening. The Twins didn’t exactly ease him into the job. Rather, they threw him into the fire against the best offense in all of baseball. Deduno has spent 8 seasons in the minors, so he isn’t exactly a young prospect. Minnesota has had serious pitching problems this year. The Twins pitching staff has a combined ERA of 4.99, which is second worst in the majors. The starting rotation has given them only 28 quality starts.
How have the Twins been able to start winning quite a few games of late? The offense has really heated up in a big way. Joe Mauer leads the team with a .330 average. He has stayed relatively healthy this season. Josh Willingham has been a constant producer in the middle of the lineup. The emergence of Trevor Plouffe over the last month has really helped this team put up runs in bunches over the last month. Plouffe has 19 home runs in just 216 at-bats this year.
The Texas Rangers have a scary good lineup. There simply isn’t an easy out anywhere to be found all the way from the top to the bottom of this offense. As a team, the Rangers lead the majors in batting average as well as runs scored per game. Josh Hamilton gets most of the attention, but he is far from alone in this stacked lineup. Adrian Beltre is batting .325 with 14 homers and 53 RBI’s. Elvis Andrus is turning into a much better offensive player, and he leads the team in stolen bases. Ian Kinsler is a dangerous leadoff hitter. Don’t forget about Hamilton, who has 26 homers and 74 RBI’s in 2012.
Derek Holland is set to come off the disabled list to start for the Rangers in this one. Holland is a guy who has shown glimpses of greatness in his career, but he just hasn’t been consistent enough. He has been out of the rotation for a month due to shoulder fatigue. Joe Nathan is 18 for 19 in save opportunities, and the Rangers bullpen is one of the best in the majors.
MLB Free Pick: Over 11
An over this high seems crazy to play, but in Arlington with these two pitchers I think it is very reachable. Look for the scoreboard to light up early and often in this contest.