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Rangers And Orioles Clash In A Matchup That Has A Playoff Flavor

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 7/9/2013 7:02:37 PM

In 2012, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers in the American League’s first scheduled one-game playoff. The two teams reunite on Wednesday in Baltimore.

Texas Rangers @ Baltimore Orioles – Wednesday, July 10

Sport betting line: No line

Why Texas Will Win

When the best online betting sites tackle this clash, they will readily point out that the Rangers have simply performed at a much higher level in the first half of the season than many baseball experts were prepared (or willing) to admit. Texas was supposed to have struggled, given some changes on the pitching staff plus the loss of three regular position players: Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Napoli. Rosters that are substantially remade are rosters that face questions in a given season, and Texas’ ability to provide winning answers was highly doubted. Moreover, those doubts seemed quite legitimate, given the Oakland Athletics’ resurgence in the American League West.

Yet, here are the Rangers, flourishing after 89 games. Texas is 15 games above .500, just half a game behind Oakland in the A.L. West but in very good position for a playoff berth. The Rangers, if they cannot overtake the A’s for the West lead, will be in the lead for the American League’s first wild card spot. Texas enters play on Tuesday, July 9 with a three-game lead in the loss column over Tampa Bay for the first wild card spot. The Rangers are up by four games in the loss column over Baltimore for the second American League wild card spot. This team has a run differential of plus-30, which is actually very modest for a team that’s 15 games above .500. This indicates that the Rangers win a lot of close games. In a fairly even matchup with Baltimore, one can certainly bet on Texas to dig out a close win.

Why Baltimore Will Win

This is an intriguing online sports betting situation – the Rangers have not yet announced a starting pitcher in this game, and that’s enough of a reason to doubt Texas in this tilt. The bigger reason to make a betting play on Baltimore is that the Orioles’ starter, Wei-Yin Chen, has a very strong 3.04 ERA and has been holding up under pressure this season. Chen turned in a solid and workmanlike 2012 season for manager Buck Showalter, and he’s been able to back that up in 2013 with another string of quality starts. It is not exactly easy to bet against a team as good as Texas, but it’s not easy to bet against the Orioles, at home, on a night when one of their better starting pitchers is taking the hill. One also has to realize that Baltimore needs to catch Texas in the American League wild card race. The O’s will own some urgency in this game due to their place in the American League’s collective standings.

Who Will Win?

The Rangers will put up a good fight, but Baltimore will get a strong outing from Chen in this game and fend off Texas by one run.

MLB Betting Pick: Baltimore

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