Cole Hamels (5-0, 2.83 ERA) and Jonathon Niese (4-2, 4.75 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Texas Rangers (27-20) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (27-19) at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Action begins at 8:05 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 27 and can be seen on FSSW and RTPT.
Hamels pitched 8.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two, striking out 11 and walking two in a 9-2 win over the Astros. Nomar Mazara (.320, 21 Rs, 8 HRs, 21 RBIs) had another good game Wednesday, going 2 for 5 with one run, one home run, and three RBIs. Niese went 7.0 innings, surrendering one run, striking out four and walking one in a 5-1 defeat to the Rockies in his most recent start. Gregory Polanco (.316, 35 Rs, 6 HRs, 29 RBIs, 7 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run.
The odds for Texas and Pittsburgh are Rangers -150, while the Over/Under (O/U) is 9 as of now.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT
Pittsburgh has won 57% (13-10) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Texas has won 60% (12-8) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Pirates managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Rangers who are heading in with a 5-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Pirates are 20-6. The Rangers have a 16-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking eighth, Texas is in the top 10 of the league in runs, scoring 218 this season. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 234.
Ranking 26th, Texas is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 123 this season. Pittsburgh ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 170.
When the Rangers hit at least one home run, they are 20-11, well-matched with the Pirates who are 18-9 when hitting one or more homers.