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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#920 Texas Rangers (Minor) -120 Over Los Angeles Angels (Heaney) 7:05 PM CT

Mike Minor got a three-year contract from the Rangers ahead of this season despite limited success in recent years and the move has paid off for Texas with a 10-win campaign and a steady 4.33 ERA in 24 starts for the left-hander. Minor is well suited for the conditions in Arlington and he owns a 3.30 ERA at home this season with foes batting just .210 against him.

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The Angels continue to fade from a promising April start and Los Angeles is 18-25 vs. left-handed starters this season. The Angels have some big names in the lineup but have posted a .566 team OPS the past 11 games while scoring 3.2 runs per game and on the season the Angels own just a .660 team OPS vs. left-handers. Texas has posted solid offensive numbers with 5.1 runs per game over the past 23 games and while the Rangers are better vs. right-handers Texas should have an opportunity in this matchup.

Texas scored six runs with 10 hits against Andrew Heaney in mid-August in this ballpark and Heaney appears to be running out of gas with the former 1st round pick listing a solid season line but a 5.55 ERA in his last six starts. The Angels have been held to three or fewer runs in eight of the last 10 games and Minor looks capable of another strong outing to keep Texas on a competitive late season run since early August.

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Nelly’s baseball is riding a 16-7 run since early August for a great late season run. We are also 33-20 on totals this season including going 9-1 in our last 10 over/under selections. Join Nelly’s for all picks for the rest of September for just $129 or play through the World Series for just $199!

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Free MLB Pick Monday

#966 Los Angeles Angels (Skaggs) -145 over Texas Rangers (Hamels) 9:05 pM CT

Tyler Skaggs has pitched much better than his 1-3 record suggests with a 3.63 ERA and in three outings since returning from a long DL stint he has been very effective with a 2.93 ERA in three outings, posting a solid 8.2 K/9. The Angels have been a great late season surprise at 13-5 in August to stay in the AL wild card race. The offense has been very consistent with five runs per game on average this month.

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Texas is 11-7 this month with 112 runs scored but recent home series with three struggling AL squads skew the numbers, including scoring 59 runs the past two series with the Tigers and White Sox. On the road the Rangers have a season OPS of just .693 for a huge decline in production. Cole Hamels is 8-1 but he owns a 4.52 FIP and he has allowed four or more runs in four of his last six starts. His K/9 is just 5.6 this season and he has an ERA a full run higher in his road starts. The Angels are 33-26 at home this season and this is a team playing with great intensity and urgency for a surprise run at a playoff opportunity.

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Free MLB Pick Friday

 

#915/916 ‘OVER 10’ Texas Rangers (Darvish) at New York Yankees (Tanaka) 6:05 PM CT

Masahiro Tanaka is still taking turns in the rotation for the Yankees despite disastrous results this season. His 6.34 ERA is perhaps a bit inflated as Tanaka is still getting strikeouts at a solid rate but he has allowed 21 home runs in just over 76 innings of work this season. In seven of his last nine starts he has allowed at least four runs and the Rangers are a formidable offensive team, especially against right-handed pitching. The Yankees own an .845 OPS against right-handed pitching this season to pace baseball and back at home after a rough west coast trip the New York bats should start to get back on the great season pace.

New York is scoring 5.7 runs per game this season and few teams have enjoyed as great of a home field edge with a 23-10 mark at Yankee Stadium, that includes batting .288 with a 7.6 runs per nine innings scored at home vs. right-handed pitching. Yu Darvish is still a big name pitcher in this Japanese star showcase on the mound but he is on pace to have his worst season since his rookie campaign in 2012. Darvish has seen a major decline in his strikeout rate this season and while his 3.35 ERA looks respectable his FIP is 4.13. Darvish has allowed at least three runs in four of his last five starts and his numbers are marginal despite a very low .247 BABIP and a nearly 82 percent strand rate. The Texas bullpen has been a mess in road games this season with a 6.15 ERA for the unit and this could be a difficult first game in New York following a tense series with the Blue Jays that wrapped up on Thursday. More than 10.5 runs per game have been scored at Yankee Stadium on average this season with the ‘over’ 21-12.

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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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