- Rangers (-154) at WynnBet
- Rockies +1.5 (+105) at Bet365
- Brewers-Twins Over 7.5 (-115) at Caesars Sportsbook
Are the Texas Rangers a small-market team? Maybe not; the Rangers play to Dallas-Fort Worth, the fifth-largest media market in the United States, and they’re one of this year’s most bet-on teams, according to the MLB public money charts out there on the interwebs.
Who are these Rangers fans, though? This is a franchise that has yet to win a World Series, not since their birth as the Washington Senators (Mark III) in 1961, and not since they moved to Arlington in 1972. But that hasn’t stopped all that public money from flowing in.
Despite those taps being turned on, the computers at OddsTrader say the Rangers belong in your baseball picks this Tuesday when they host the Los Angeles Angels. And we agree after taking a closer look at the full slate of MLB projections.
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 – 08:05 PM EDT at Globe Life Field
Neither of these teams was supposed to compete for the title in 2023. They were tied at +2000 on the preseason MLB odds to win the American League pennant, each with a regular-season win total of 81.5 attached. Yet here we are, with Texas (41-23, plus-11.38 betting units) leading the AL West at press time, and the Angels (36-31, plus-1.41 units) not far behind in third.
Ah, but what if we told you Texas was the best team in baseball? That’s according to their hefty plus-149 run differential, which works out to a Pythagorean record of 46-18 – thanks, Bill James. The Rangers have been somewhat unfortunate to go 5-8 in games decided by one run, and 1-2 in extra innings.
The Angels, on the other hand, “should” be 35-32 after posting a plus-14 run differential. They’re 12-9 in 1-run games and 1-4 in extra innings, so luck has been pretty much a non-factor in Anaheim.
Feed all the numbers through the OT computers, and you get Texas winning Tuesday’s contest six runs to 4.5. We could slice that margin of victory in half and still have enough betting value to recommend the Rangers for a single-unit wager as -154 home faves.
Should We Agree With the Computers?
As much as we humans like Texas in this spot, the computers appear to have been fooled again by ERA, specifically, the 2.32 ERA that Jon Gray (4.26 xFIP) has posted for the Rangers. Gray’s .226 BABIP against just isn’t sustainable, especially with today’s anti-shift rules in place.
Jaime Barria (1.85 ERA, 3.84 xFIP) is in much the same boat for L.A., though, and both bullpens are solid, so we’ll take the Rangers and the second-best batting lineup in the majors, according to the WAR charts at FanGraphs.
MLB Pick: Rangers (-154) at WynnBet
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park
We’re switching to the run line for our second baseball pick, with the Rockies (32-35 ATS, minus-6.28 units) providing the value for a change. It’s because they’re up against the very public Red Sox (33-33 ATS, minus-3.03 units), and it’s because the OT computers have Boston winning 5.8 runs to 4.8.
Although it has been a struggle for Boston of late, they are coming off a high-profile series win over the New York Yankees – maybe their fans are a bit overeager to fade a Rockies team that has lost six of their last seven.
Kutter Crawford (4.25 lifetime xFIP) gets his fifth start of the year for the Sox opposite Chase Anderson (4.76 xFIP); Crawford is Boston’s No. 22-ranked prospect at FanGraphs, and they’re only 1-3 behind the young northpaw thus far, so we’re saying the Rockies have a chance.
MLB Pick: Rockies +1.5 (+105) at Bet365
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 – 07:40 PM EDT at Target Field
Let’s complete our straight-bet set with a total, specifically the Over for Tuesday’s tilt between the Twins and Brewers. These classic small-market teams from the AL and NL Central share the same Under record at 36-27-3, but the OT computers have Milwaukee winning this matchup 4.2 runs to 4.1.
Corbin Burnes (3.36 ERA, 4.15 xFIP) hasn’t been pitching like an All-Star for the Brewers, but Pablo Lopez (4.25 ERA, 3.63 xFIP) has been his usual steady self, and he’s cast a spell over current Milwaukee hitters, allowing a mere .409 OPS combined on 5-for-37 hitting with zero home runs.
Throw in some hot weather in Minneapolis, with evening temps hanging around in the high 60s, and you’ve got the recipe for an Over. Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken.
MLB Pick: Over 7.5 (-115) at Caesars Sportsbook