The Texas Rangers felt they had to make a bold move to get back into the American League West race and solidify their hopes for a wild card berth, and they made that move a couple of days ago when they picked up Cole Hamels in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. They are putting the former World Series MVP immediately to work, as he will make the start against the defending world champion San Francisco Giants in an interleague tilt on Saturday night, slated to get underway at 8:05 PM ET in Arlington. Baseball betting action does not stop when the first pitch is thrown, because BetAnySports customers can take advantage of in-game wagering while the contest is in progress, through the magic of Live Betting Extra.
Not only is Hamels (6-7, 3.64 ERA) making his debut in a Texas uniform, he is also coming off his best outing of the season, as he pitched a no-hitter against the Cubs last time out. That was a perfect farewell, as it followed two horrific starts in which people questioned whether he was thinking too much about the possibility of getting traded. One of those starts was against the Giants, and it was nothing short of a disaster. Now he has a chance for a little retribution.
His opponent, Chris Heston, has also thrown a no-hitter this year, having done so against the New York Mets on June 9. He is 11-5 with a 3.14 ERA and a pleasant surprise on San Francisco's starting staff.
The Rangers are seven games behind the AL West-leading Houston Astros, but they are only three games away from the second AL wild card spot, which is currently occupied by the Minnesota Twins. The Giants, who suffered a 6-3 setback in the opener of this three-game set, lost ground to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who now lead them by a game and a half in the NL West chase. The Giants are in the second wild card spot in the National League, but they lead the Cubs by only a game.
In the baseball betting odds that have been established on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Rangers, with their new ace, are favored:
Texas Rangers (Hamels) -125
San Francisco Giants (Heston) +115
Over 8.5 runs -120
Under 8.5 runs +100
You could make the argument that Heston has pitched well enough to keep the Giants in the game in nine straight starts. In other words, he hasn't had a blowup during that time. The best efforts during that period were obviously the no-no against the Mets, in which he struck out eleven batters, and his stint of 7-1/3 innings against the San Diego Padres on July 21 (two starts ago), when he allowed just one hit. he has won five consecutive decisions, and the Giants have gone 10-4 in his last fourteen outings. Since getting knocked out in the fourth inning against Pittsburgh on June 2, he has lowered his ERA more than a full run, and it should be noted that he is 6-1 on the road, with a WHIP ratio of 1.00
Hamels would appear to come at an opportune time for the Rangers, who are priced at +3500 to win the AL pennant at BetAnySports. Baseball bettors who were on the big lefty the last time he faced the Giants (July 10) were sorely disappointed, as he was mercifully yanked with one out in the fourth inning, after allowing a dozen hits and nine runs. He only lasted three innings against the Miami Marlins in his next appearance (five runs allowed), but then he pitched his gem at Wrigley Field, in which he walked only two and struck out 13 in holding the Cubbies hitless.
With the Phillies, who gave him less support than any other starter in the league, it would not be out of line to ask if he even won the decision, and indeed he did, but he is still not at the .500 mark yet. In his three starts against the Giants previous to July 10, Hamels surrendered four runs and 22 hits in 23 innings. It should be noted that Hamels' 9.6 K's per nine innings is his highest such figure since his rookie season of 2006, but that since the end of the 2012 season, his won-lost record is just 23-30.
With a contender, he hopes that will change.
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