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Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels MLB Pick from Will Rogers: August 21st 2017

Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels
MLB Pick: LAA -147 odds (August 21st 2017)
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The set-up: The LA Angels  were able to survive with Mike Trout on the DL and since his return right after the break, have been able to make a strong push into wild card contention. Los Angeles capped a 7-2 road trip with Sunday’s 5-4 win at Baltimore and returns home having won nine of 11 overall to earn a virtual tie for the second AL wild card spot with Minnesota (both sit 2 1/2 games back of the Yankees, owners of the top wild card spot). The Mariners and Royals are 1 1/2 games back of the Angels and Twins, while the Rangers, who visit Anaheim tonight for the first contest of a four-game series, are lurking 2 1/2 games back of both LA and Minny. Texas has won five of its last seven but was held scoreless until the ninth inning of Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

The pitching matchup: Cole Hamels (8-1 & 3.48 ERA) takes the mound for Texas and Tyler Skaggs (1-3 & 3.63 ERA) for the Angels. Hamels spent about two months on the DL but since struggling in his first start back on the mound in late June, owns a 6-1 mark with a 2.93 ERA in nine starts since the beginning of July (Texas is 7-2).  Hamels is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels (teams are 4-3). Skaggs will be activated from the bereavement list to make his fourth start since returning from disabled list after missing 85 games with an oblique strain. He’s 0-2 (team is 1-2) since returning to the mound on Aug. 5 but he’s pitched much better than his record with a 2.93 ERA in his three outings. Skaggs is 2-1 with a 5.46 ERA in six career starts against Texas (teams are 4-2).

The pick: Hard to find fault with Hamels but the Angels look more and more like a wild card team every day. Take the Angels.

Rangers vs. Orioles MLB Odds & Pick from Will Rogers: July 29th 2017

Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles
MLB Betting Prediction: Baltimore -123 odds (July 29th 2017)
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The set-up: Baltimore’s season has imploded after a 22-10 start. With the July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaching the Orioles are 48-54. That leaves them 4th of five AL East teams (7 1/2 back) and 6 1/2 games out of a wild card spot with six teams ahead of them. Doing the math, the Orioles are 26-44 since their quick start, which is .371 baseball! The 50-52 Texas Rangers are trying to decide if they are a wild card contender in the American League with the trade deadline approaching, (currently they are 4 1/2 games back of teh final spot). Pitching ace Yu Darvish is the biggest name in the rumor mill. Texas had no trouble handling the Orioles with an 8-2 win at home on Friday and will host the second of the three-game series on Saturday. The Rangers are hoping to get some revenge against the Baltimore Orioles this weekend after they were crushed by a combined 34-11 in a four-game series sweep at Baltimore just over a week ago.

The pitching matchup: Kevin Gausman (7-7 & 5.79 ERA) will start for Baltimore and Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-0 & 4.53 ERA) is getting another shot in the rotation after making five starts earlier this season for Texas. Baltimore is hoping that Gausman’s last two starts are an indication he’s coming around. He’s won two in a row, allowing a total of one run on nine hits over 12 innings (0.75 ERA). Gausman breezed past the Rangers with six strong innings on July 19 but is a modest 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA against them in five career starts (teams are 2-3). Bibens-Dirkx was 2-0 with a 4.30 in five starts earlier this season (Rangers were 2-3). He last started at the Chicago White Sox on June 30 and allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings without factoring in the decision. Bibens-Dirkx has made two appearances out of the bullpen since the All-Star break, including a 2 1/3-inning stint at Baltimore on July 18 in which he was roughed up for two runs on six hits and a pair of walks. This is his first start against the Orioles.

The pick: Bibens-Dirkx has pitched just 3 1/3 innings since July 1 (allowing eight hits, three walks and three ERs), so who knows what to expect? Meanwhile, Gausman has “good stuff” and off two excellent outings, I’ll ‘bite’ on him winning three in a row!

Miami Marlins vs. Texas Rangers Over-Under Pick from Will Rogers: July 25th 2017

Miami Marlins vs. Texas Rangers
MLB Over-Under Pick: Under 10.5 runs -110 odds (July 25th 2017)
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The set-up: The Miami Marlins are pretty much all but out of playoff contention, sitting 14 games back of the Nats in the NL East and 11 games out of a wild card spot with a plethora of teams ahead of them. However, they are capable of playing spoilers, as after Monday’s 4-0 win at Texas, the Marlins have won eight of their last 10 on the road. Two Giancarlo Stanton HRs led the way last night, giving him six in his last seven games to move into a tie with Aaron Judge for the major league lead with 32. Miami continues its three-game interleague series at Texas on Tuesday against the Rangers, who have no chance to catch the Astros in the AL West (sit 18 games back) but like most AL teams, remain in crowded wild card field just 3 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot. However, it’s a YUGE field.

The pitching matchup: Dan Straily (7-5 & 3.49 ERA) steps to the mound for Miami and Cole Hamels (4-1 & 3.78 ERA) for Texas. Straily suffered his first loss in 1 1/2 months in his last start against Philadelphia, allowing four runs and a season high-tying nine nine hits over five innings, as the Marlins lost 10-3 at home. It was the first time in seven outings that Straily permitted more than three runs and snapped his seven-start unbeaten string (he had been 3-0 and Miami5-2 in that stretch ). Straily is 4-3 record with a 4.25 ERA in 10 career starts vs. Texas (teams are 4-6). Hamels took a scoreless streak of 21 innings into his last start but it came to a jarring end in Baltimore, when he was battered for seven runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. It was the fifth start since coming off the disabled list for Hamels, who was victimized by three HRs. Hamels has sure seen a lot of the Marlins in his career (he spent nine-plus season with the Phillies), going 9-15 with a 3.39 ERA in 37 starts (teams are 14-23).

The pick: Both Straily and Hamels were in excellent form prior to their last outings and I’ll vote (bet) on bounce-back efforts here for both pitchers. Play the Under.