Twins/Rangers UNDER 10 (-115) = WIN (+1.0 units)
Astros/A’s OVER 9 (-105) = LOSS (-1.05 units)
Taking the over in this matchup last night bit me but I like the total again today. The wind at RingCentral Coliseum is projected to blow out to center at over 10.5 mph throughout the game. While both offenses struggled last night, neither lineup needs help to get the ball out of the yard. Yet, both will receive a boost if they get the ball in the air.
Oakland’s lineup will also benefit from facing Houston starter Rogelio Armenteros, who makes his second career start. While Armenteros allowed just one run and two hits with six strikeouts over five innings against the Rangers in his debut, the 25-year-old posted a 5.05 ERA in 17 appearances (16 starts) for Round Rock this season. We’re not talking about one of the Astros’ top prospects here.
Figuring out Chris Bassitt could prove to be a bigger challenge for Houston. Bassitt hasn’t allowed a run in two of his last three outings and is coming off a strong start versus the White Sox (0 runs, 4 hits, 7 IP). Still, I’ll gladly roll the dice with the Astros offense.
Finally, having Chris Conroy behind the dish benefits us, too. The over is 6-1-1 in Conroy’s last eight games behind home plate and is 13-8 (61.9%) in games he’s umpired this season.
The Pick: Astros/A’s OVER 10.5 (-105) = Risking 1.05 units to win 1.0 units
(Your eyes aren’t deceiving you – these were my picks last night, too.)
I feel like I’m sticking my fingers down a garbage disposal while hoping nobody turns it on when I take the under in Arlington. Given that the struggling Ariel Jurado is starting for Texas, I’m basically begging to lose a digit.
Nevertheless, the total is too high again tonight in Arlington. Minnesota starter Jose Berrios struggled in his last two starts and there are some issues beneath the surface, including a sub-23% strikeout rate and a 4.42 xFIP. Regression is coming, but he’s also facing a high-strikeout lineup with the wind blowing straight in at over 12 mph. As long as he doesn’t hand out a bunch of free passes (and he shouldn’t, not with a 5.5% walk rate), Berrios should limit the damage.
As for Jurado…yikes. In his last start, he surrendered eight runs to the Blue Jays in Toronto and I won’t mislead anyone when it comes to his advanced profile. He does have a 7.1% walk rate and a 45.3% ground ball rate, but everything else is ugly. My hope is that he keeps a dangerous Minnesota lineup in check by keeping the ball on the ground. When the Twins do get it in the air versus Jurado, hopefully Mother Nature takes over and keeps the ball in the yard.
The Pick: Twins/Rangers UNDER (-115) = Risking 1.15 units to win 1.0 units
MLB First Half: 59-50-4 (+2.55 units)
MLB Second Half: 14-18-1 (-6.20 units)
NHL Playoffs: 2-0 (+2.0 units)