MLB Odds: Rangers and Twins continue series
By: Jimmy Sirody
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Joe Mauer’s 9th-inning single broke up a no-hitter in Monday’s opener.
The Texas Rangers boast the largest division gap in the majors and are getting a look at a potential playoff opponent with the Minnesota Twins in town.
The Rangers liked what they saw in Monday’s series opener when Rich Harden came off the disabled list to pitch 6 2/3 no-hit innings before being pulled after throwing 111 pitches. Minnesota avoided a no-hitter when Joe Mauer singled off All-Star closer Neftali Perez in the ninth inning.
Minnesota swept three straight from Texas in May and had beaten the Rangers four straight times overall by a combined score of 21-10.
The loss shaved the Twins lead in the American League Central to 4 ½ games over the Chicago White Sox.
A pair of red-hot southpaws square off Wednesday night at The Ballpark in Arlington in the third game of the series.
Brian Duensing has provided a huge lift for Minnesota since joining the rotation on July 23. He is now 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in six starts. The converted reliever stymied the Los Angeles Angels last Friday, yielding one run and seven hits over eight innings, while whiffing six and issuing no walks.
Keep in mind, however, that the success as a starter has included outings against Oakland, Cleveland, Kansas City and Baltimore.
C.J. Wilson is another former member of the relief corps that has thrived since joining the fraternity of starters.
Wilson had a career high 12 strikeouts over 8 2/3 innings against the Orioles on Friday night and retired 18 of the last 19 batters.
Wilson is unbeaten in seven starts since July 11 and in his last three appearances he is 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA and has struck out 25 in 21 2/3 innings. The hard-throwing left-hander has won nine of 11 decisions at home with a 3.12 ERA while limiting opposing batters to a .210 average.
Minnesota beat Wilson on May 29 at Target Field, 8-3. He was touched for four runs and five hits in six innings.
The Twins haven’t lost a road series in the second half of the season and they are 17-7 versus the West.
Minnesota has won seven of its last nine against lefties overall and five of six on the road.
Texas has cashed the MLB money line five of its last six against AL-Central citizens and it is 12-2 in Wilson’s last 14 home appearances. However, the Rangers have come up short in their last four when facing southpaws.
Five of the past seven series skirmishes have ended on the low side.
The Twins have strayed ‘under’ at a 7-2-1 clip versus teams from the West and at a 6-2-3 rate against lefties. Texas has ducked below the number at a 10-4-1 pace at home and in five of its last seven versus southpaws.
Home plate umpire Marvin Hudson has been a boon to ‘over’ bettors. Seven of his past 10 games behind the dish have ended on the high side and the ‘over’ is 7-0-1 in his last eight assignments behind the plate versus Minnesota.