After another 2-0 day yesterday, we look at a very interesting matchup today as the Orioles will be put to the test when they face the AL West-leading Texas Rangers. Baltimore has a half game lead over the Oakland for the final AL Wild Card berth.
Lately, I've been hitting everything that I've predicted with a record of 66-55-1 with +14.45 units.
Good Luck Everyone! Let's keep the ball rolling!
Dempster or Dumpster?
Much more was expected out of Ryan Dempster when Texas acquired him from the Chicago Cubs.
So far Dempster is 1-1 with a bloated 8.31 ERA in 3 starts for Texas. He hasn't impressed, to say the least, but has great potential, and this is why baseball odds makers installed Texas as a whopping -171 favorite. The total for this contest is also high at 10 runs.
Baltimore has very little margin for error even though there's still about a month and a half until the end of the season. When a team has a lead, they don't want to relinquish it or they might not be able to regain it. This is especially true for a team like Baltimore. This is their chance, but Ryan Dempster and the hitting of Kinsler, Cruz, Andrus, Beltre, and Hamilton are the obstacles. Texas has a deep team offensively; Baltimore starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (5-2, 3.38) must at least give the O's a quality 6 innings.
Gonzalez is a reliever turned starter, but has given the Baltimore pitching staff plenty of relief with quality outings. He does his best work on the road, where he's 3-0 with a 2.34 ERA. In his last 3 starts, Gonzalez has been flawless, giving up just 3 runs and 14 hits in 21 innings of play. Miguel Gonzalez might not necessarily be a household name like Dempster, but he's been the better pitcher - at least lately.
Both teams are coming off strong outings on Sunday. Texas trashed Toronto, 11-2, as starter Matt Harrison held the Blue Jays to just 2 hits. Less heralded players David Murphy and Michael Young went yard. Anyone on the Rangers roster is a threat to an opposing pitcher.
Baltimore managed to defeat a strong Detroit Tigers team, 7-5, in Comerica Park to "hold serve." Winning is a confidenece builder when facing a loaded team like the Tigers. The O's aren't a homerun hitting team like the Angels, who get home runs every game from Trout or Pujols, but unlike the Angels, they are a team that consistently wins even with an inferior pitching staff.
Outcome of the game
The outcome of this games depends upon the pitching of Dempster. We don't know which Dempster will show up, and that's why I'm going with the total. Both teams are coming up after big offensive performances, and Texas has one of the best offenses in the league. Saying that, if Dempster is half the pitcher that he was in Chicago, this game should stay below a high run total of 10 runs.
Pick: Texas/Baltimore UNDER 10