Wandy Rodriguez (1-1, 2.70 ERA) and the Texas Rangers (15-20) meet Bruce Chen (0-1, 13.50 ERA) and the Cleveland Indians (12-21) in the first of a three-game series at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The game gets underway at 8:05 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 15 and will air on STO, FSN-SW and MLB Net.
In his most recent outing, Rodriguez pitched 6.0 innings, giving up one run, striking out six and walking one in a 2-1 loss to the Rays. Shin-Soo Choo (.243, 11 Rs, 5 HRs, 16 RBIs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 3 for 4. In his pitching opportunities against the Rangers, Chen is 2-3 with an 8.45 ERA. He gets a less-than-stellar Texas offense that's batting just .233. Jason Kipnis (.316, 19 Rs, 3 HRs, 15 RBIs, 5 SBs) has been hitting the ball well, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Texas, a -116 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Cleveland. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at nine runs. The Rangers perform poorly as a favorite with a 1-2 record, but have fared better with the overall money line (+81).
Switching gears, the Indians come into this game with a weak win percentage of .364 when playing as the underdog (4-7) and an overall money line of -1,233. Opposing pitchers have routinely struggled to strike out the Cleveland batters, who rank second in the AL with 6.4 strikeouts per game. The Indians are a problem for opposing batters, sporting a 3.86 ERA on the road this season. The Cleveland pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging an AL-best 9.7 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Chen (LHP) on the mound against the Rangers, who have a 5-7 record when they take on a left-handed starter. The left-handed Rodriguez will take the mound against the Indians. Against lefty starters this season, they have a terrible 3-9 record overall and 1-4 on the road.
Predictions: SU Winner - TEX, O/U - Over
The Indians lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Rangers are 5-4. The Indians are 0-3 in close games this season.
When the Rangers play into extra innings, they have a 2-2 record. The Indians are 0-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Indians are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Rangers have a 7-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Indians are 10-3. The Rangers have an 11-3 record when outhitting opponents.
Both falling in the bottom half of the league based on total runs this season, Texas ranks 18th with 142 runs and Cleveland is 19th with 140.
Texas and Cleveland both rank in the top 10 of the league in walks. Texas sits at sixth with 119 this season and Cleveland ranks seventh with 117.
When the Rangers hit at least one home run, they are 11-7. When the Indians hit at least one homer, they have a 10-11 record.