Braves & Rangers Favored At Home In Wild Card Playoffs

By: Willie Bee | Thursday, October 4, 2012

St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves MLB Betting Preview
10/05/2012, 5:07 p.m. (ET) TBS
Opening Lines: Braves -165, O/U 6½
(click here for latest odds)

Pitching Matchup:  Atlanta will look for its 24th straight win with Kris Medlen on the hill while St. Louis counters with Kyle Lohse.  Medlen closed the season with an amazing 12-start run that saw him allow zero or one run in nine of the assignments while his backers collected an even dozen units of profit.  He saw the Cardinals earlier this season as a reliever, working three innings and allowing a run. Lohse's only appearance vs. the Braves in 2012 was at the end of May in Atlanta where he surrendered five runs in five innings of a loss as a +120 underdog.  St. Louis was 21-12 in Lohse's starts (+7.1 units).

Series History: The Braves are 36-23 vs. the Cards at Turner Field since it opened in 1997.  That mark includes a loss during the 2000 NLDS when St. Louis swept Atlanta three straight, winning the first two games back at Busch II.  The Braves won five of the six meetings between the clubs this year, sweeping the Cards in St. Louis and taking two of three in Atlanta where each contest skipped 'over' the total.

Odds & Ends: Atlanta 3B Chipper Jones is officially listed as questionable for Friday due to his chronic knee trouble, but there's no way he'll miss what could be the final game of his MLB career.  St. Louis is not listing any big injury concerns on the playoff roster.

Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers MLB Betting Preview
10/05/2012, 8:37 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Rangers -190, OU 9
(click here for latest odds)

Pitching Matchup:  After blowing their lead in the AL West when Oakland swept Texas in the final three games, the Rangers will pin their hopes on Japanese import Yu Darvish to get the club into the ALDS.  Texas was 19-10 when Darvish took his turn in the rotation, 5-1 in his final six assignments and 11-3 in 14 home starts.  He did not face the Orioles during his rookie season, and Baltimore was 67-51 vs. righties in 2012.  Baltimore's hurler will be lefty Joe Saunders who has a very ugly track record against the Rangers.  The August acquisition from Arizona has made 11 career starts vs. Texas with a 3-7 record and ERA approaching seven.  Those numbers are even worse at Rangers Ballpark where he has lost all six of his starts with an ERA above nine.  Baltimore won four of his seven starts after the trade with the Diamondbacks, two of his three on the road.

Series History: The Rangers earned home-field advantage for this game with a 5-2 mark vs. Baltimore during the regular season.  Texas was 2-1 in the three meetings at Rangers Ballpark when the teams met in August, and 49-37 at home vs. the O's since the stadium opened in 1994.  Two of the three played in the Lone Star State stayed 'under' the total after the 'over' swept a 4-game series at Camden Yards back in May.

Odds & Ends: Texas was a 4/1 selection to win the American League when the season started, while Baltimore was 90/1.  The Rangers were 9-6 at home the past two postseasons, and 24-16 overall vs. AL East teams during 2012.

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