Rick Porcello and Yu Darvish go head to head tonight in the series finale between the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers. Where will we be placing our MLB picks in this showdown?
One question making the rounds on the baseball betting front
is what's the matter with Yu? The Texas
Rangers spent a big pile of money during the offseason to bring the latest
Japanese pitching sensation to the big leagues, and the soon-to-be 26-year-old
has fallen into a funk recently following mixed results earlier on the
There may not be a thing wrong with Yu Darvish other than
your typical rookie inconsistency. Whatever might be ailing the young hurler,
perhaps a matchup against the Detroit Tigers is just what the doctor ordered in
the finale of a 3-game series in the Lone
Rick Porcello will oppose Darvish in the mid-afternoon start
at what should be a hot, sun-drenched Rangers Ballpark. Despite the recent struggles by their
starting hurler, the Rangers are drawing the favorites tag according to the MLB
odds. We'll call it -140 for a nice
round number, and Sunday's scoreboard hurdle has been set at 10.5. Baseball odds makers have prices the OVER 15-20 cents higher, so the
weather is not the only thing expected to be hot.
We discussed the recent offensive trends the clubs had
produced when tangling on this diamond in our preview
of Friday's series opener. The
Tigers and Rangers entered the series averaging 14.0 runs per game in their
previous 11 encounters on this field, so naturally they failed to reach that number
in the first two games of the set combined.
Backed by Austin Jackson's bat and legs, Detroit scored a 6-2 triumph in Game 1 before
the clubs engaged in an old-fashioned pitchers duel in the second
game of the set. Texas' Derek
Holland and Justin Verlander of the Tigers each were brilliant, and the Rangers
evened the series with a 2-1 victory thanks to a 9th-inning, walk-off single by
rookie reserve Mike Olt who was playing in just his fifth major league game.
took the mound Saturday having also been in a rut like Darvish. Could Yu find his own success Sunday opposite
a club he has already beaten twice this year?
Darvish was sitting pretty with a 10-4 record and 3.57 ERA
at the end of May when he grabbed his second dubya against the Tigers. He has since gone 1-4 (Texas 2-4) while pitching to a bloated 7.04
ERA in six assignments. Many believe
it's a case of Darvish wearing down in his first MLB campaign, a concern that
was raised before he ever stepped on a mound here following a far less
strenuous workload while pitching in Japan.
At least Darvish has some success against today's opponent
to fall back on. Porcello has managed to
split his four career starts vs. the Rangers, but that 2-2 record comes with a
very ugly 8.47 ERA. A big chunk of that
number came in his first go against Texas this
season when he basically threw batting practice at Comerica Park
in April. The Rangers tallied nine runs
(8 earned) before Porcello could even record an out in the second inning.
He did bounce back with a nice winning effort in Texas on June 25,
however, working six frames and surrendering a single run.
Both pitchers will not only be battling imposing lineups,
but 100+ degree heat as well. The
Rangers have been playing Sunday home games in the evening all summer to get
around this, but today's contest will take place during the hottest few hours
of the day. The southerly wind won't do
a thing to help cool players down on the field.
Porcello and Darvish, along with the relievers who follow
them, could get some help from Lance Barksdale behind the plate. The 12-year veteran is known for a more
liberal strike zone than many of his co-workers and brings a 9-14 O/U record
into the contest.
I'm going to look past Darvish's recent struggles and back
the home team Sunday in Texas and make my MLB pick on the Rangers.
My pick: Rangers