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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#917 Oakland Athletics (Manaea) -125 over Texas Rangers (Moore) 7:05 PM CT

The Rangers are just 7-13 vs. left-handed starters this season and Texas has the AL’s worst team batting average at just .228. Texas has 68 home runs on the season but that is seven fewer than Oakland’s count with the Athletics also seven games ahead in the standings and 82 runs better in net scoring differential. Oakland is a winning team at 16-14 on the road while the Rangers are just 11-19 in Arlington this season.

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Matt Moore is only 28-years-old but the left-hander has seen his career trajectory fall off a cliff the past two seasons, now 7-20 in his last 27 decisions with a 6.02 ERA. His strikeout numbers continue to fall, on pace for a career low at just 7.4 K/9 in 11 appearances this season while his 4.4 BB/9 is difficult to overcome. Moore has a .396 BABIP right now which is sure to go down but even with a major adjustment he remains a below average AL starter and so far he has posted disastrous numbers in his home starts where batters are hitting .340 against him with a .934 OPS.

Sean Manaea hasn’t lived up to his brilliant April numbers but he has allowed four or fewer runs in all but one start this season and he remains a viable option on the mound. His season ERA is just 3.60 while he has allowed only 14 walks in 75 innings of work this season. Manaea has a lower ERA on the road and June has often been his best month in his career so far and he has strong career numbers vs. the Rangers. Oakland isn’t a great hitting team vs. left-handers but Manaea is the more reliable option backed by the stronger lineup and bullpen with the Rangers in a potential flat spot in the first game back at home after a west coast trip.

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Nelly’s Baseball is 7-1 the past eight days with a perfect start to June – don’t miss Tuesday’s 2-for-1 MLB offer! Bobby Dalton has a 10* and a 5* for Tuesday night with a guaranteed Best Bet having won five of his past seven 10* picks and riding a 48-31 historical interleague run.

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Free MLB Pick Saturday

Tampa Bay Rays (Odorizzi) -105 over Texas Rangers (Griffin) 5:10 PM CT

Most assumed that Jake Odorizzi would finish the 2016 season on a contender and many likely wish they had dealt for the still only 26-year old right-hander given that he owns a 1.66 ERA while going 4-0 since the All Star break. He owns a nearly 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in that run of six starts and he has faced several formidable AL lineups in that run. He has a daunting task Saturday with the AL-leading Rangers in town but Texas is just 14-13 vs. the AL East this season. The Rangers are also only 33-30 in road games heading into this series, going just 12-15 the past three road trips. A.J. Griffin had a strong start to the season for the Rangers but since the break he owns a 6.06 ERA with a 6.88 FIP. He has allowed 34 hits in 32 innings in those six starts with 10 home runs allowed. The Rangers had appeared to shore up their bullpen midseason but that has been an area of weakness of late and a two-inning start from Lucas Harrell on Tuesday set the team back with five relievers needed to finish that extra-innings game. Tampa Bay is 12-8 in the last 20 games as this is a team that can play spoiler down the stretch and there appears to be a big edge on the mound tonight for the hosts.

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Free MLB Pick – Monday, July 18

‘OVER 8’ Texas Rangers (Griffin) at Los Angeles Angels (Tropeano) 9:05 PM CT

After posting no MLB innings in 2014 or 2015 A.J. Griffin has turned in meaningful innings for a 1st place Rangers team in 10 starts but his 4.33 FIP is more than a half run higher than his 3.81 ERA. Griffin has been fortunate to only take one loss as he has allowed runs in every outing and he had a very high walk rate at over 3.6 BB/9. Griffin allowed three runs in Anaheim in his first start of the season and the 40-52 Angels are riding one of the team’s best offensive stretches of the season with five or more runs in six of the last nine games including scoring 16 runs in sweeping the White Sox over three games to start the 2nd half. When these teams last met in May there were 24 runs scored in a 15-9 win for the Rangers and the Angels can’t have great confidence in Nick Tropeano tonight. His 3.12 ERA looks solid but the advanced numbers paint a different picture. Tropeano has a FIP of 4.73 in 12 starts this season and his walk rate of nearly 4.1 BB/9 would rank as the 4th highest in MLB among qualified starters of which Tropeano is currently a few innings shy of qualifying. These teams rate 18th and 29th in MLB in bullpen ERA and neither starter has a track record of going deep into games. In a venue that has averaged nearly 9.0 runs per game these starters don’t look worthy of a total of just 8.0 at many outlets, the lowest in this series in the last seven meetings since an early April matchup of Garrett Richards and Cole Hamels.

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