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MLB Pick: Larry Ness betting the Texas Rangers -102 odds on September 13th 2017

Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers
MLB Betting Pick: Texas -102 odds (September 13th 2017)
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The Mariners and Rangers meet Wednesday in the third of a four-game series at Arlington. Seattle won 10-3 last night, just its third in eight contests and remained 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second wild card spot at .72-73. Meanwhile, 72-72 Texas looks to move back above .500, plus hopes to close the team’s three-game deficit for the American League’s second wild card spot.

The pitching matchup features Mike Leake (9-12, 4.10 ERA overall) for Seattle and Martin Perez (12-10, 4.81 ERA) for Texas. Leake will be making his third start since being acquired from St Louis and has won each of his first two outings as a Mariner. He’s allowed two earned runs in each start, while striking out 12 against one walk in 13 overall innings. Leake is 0-1 with a 2.33 ERA in three career starts versus the Rangers, including two outings at Globe Life Park (0-1, 2.03 ERA).

Martin Perez will head to the mound tonight looking to match a Texas franchise record by winning his EIGHTH consecutive start. Perez has not exactly resembled Clayton Kershaw during his seven-game winning streak but he has allowed fewer than three ERs in five of the seven victories and owns a 3.15 ERA these last seven games, lowering his overall ERA from 5.46 to its current 4.10. Perez is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three starts against Seattle this year (Rangers are 1-2) and is 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts) all-time vs Seattle.

Leake has been everything Seattle could have hoped for (and more) in his first two starts with the Mariners but going against the red-hot Perez makes little sense right now. Take the home team.

Texas Rangers vs. Atlanta Braves MLB Pick from Will Rogers: September 5th 2017

Texas Rangers vs. Atlanta Braves
MLB Pick: Atlanta -116 odds (September 5th 2017)
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The set-up: The Rangers won 8-2 on Monday at Atlanta, climbing within two games of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot in the American League (it’s a crowded field, though). This three-game IL series continues Tuesday night with the 69-68 Rangers having won 16 of their past 25 games to get back into wild-card contention. Meanwhile, after reaching .500 on July 16 (45-45), the Braves have gone just 15-31 since to fall to 60-76, including 6-15 at home during the swoon.

The pitching matchup: Miguel Gonzalez (7-10 & 4.31 ERA) will take the mound for Texas and Julio Teheran (9-11 & 4.75 ERA) for Atlanta. Gonzalez pitched  well in his final five starts with the Chicago White Sox, going 2-0 with a 1.85 ERA in 34 innings. However, he was dealt to the Rangers after giving up three runs on seven hits at Minnesota this past Tuesday. Gonzalez spent a month on the disabled list with shoulder tightness but he made nine starts for the White Sox since his return. “He’s been throwing very well the last couple of months,” Texas general manager John Daniels said after making the deal. Gonzalez has never faced the Braves but he is 4-6 with a 3.59 ERA in 15 interleague games. He makes his first start for Texas in this one. Teheran makes his 28th start of the season after an August during which he posted his second-best monthly ERA (3.65) in 2017. Teheran closed the month with two excellent starts, surrendering one run with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings at Philadelphia on Wednesday after giving up two runs over 7 1/3 frames in win over Colorado five days earlier in Atlanta. Teheran has faced the Rangers just once, taking a loss in 2014 despite going eight innings while up three runs on three hits while striking out six and walking one.

The pick: Home (Turner Field) was always a good place for Teheran but Atlanta’s new SunTrust Park has been a ‘House of Horrors.’ He’s 2-9 with a 6.54 ERA in 14 starts (Braves are 4-10). That said, there is no real reason for Teheran’s home struggles. He’s looked very good in his last two starts (one home/ one away) and I’ll back him here vs. Gonzalez, who has struggled on the road this season, posting a 3-7 record and 5.23 ERA over 13 starts (White Sox were 4-9).