The Rangers don’t seem to mind that their fellow Texans from Houston joined them in the Western division of the American League, in fact they are thriving. The two teams are separated by 15 points and while the Astros are probably going to miss the playoffs once again, the Rangers will try to secure home pitch advantage in postseason. There are plenty of games left until then, with one seemingly easy match taking place tonight when they Indians come to town.
Cleveland is mired in a seven games losing streak and they are struggling to stay afloat, with poor pitching being the reason for their downswing. The visitors will need to step up their game if they are to survive the opening match in Texas, because the hosts are a high scoring team. Scott Kazmir is the one that the Indians will be counting on to cool off the opponents’ bats but neither his record or earns run average are encouraging. Scott split his six decisions this season and conceded an average of five runs per game, so he will need all the support that his teammates can lend him.
Fortunately for Kazmir, the Indians might be ending their lengthy downswing tonight, when the Rangers will give another chance to Josh Lindblom. The starting pitcher is more used to playing in the minor leagues and his only start in MLB was a disaster. His ERA of 7.71 speaks for itself and was the result of a brief appearance against Oakland, in a game that Texas lost by nine runs to two. Josh was responsible for conceding four runs in the first four innings before he was retired.
Normally this would be a lopsided game with the Rangers overwhelming favorites to win, even if the Indians were not riding a losing streak. Bookmakers tend to be overestimating the hosts, hence the tiny odds for a home victory but this presents punters with an excellent opportunity of backing the underdog. On the other hand, there are not many willing to put aside the fact that Cleveland lost seven consecutive games and their pitchers were absolutely terrible.
They can still extract profit from this game, because an excellent way of capitalizing on the high odds is by wagering on more than 10.5 runs to be scored. The line is set at a relatively high value for good reason, but the Rangers proved over and over again that they can’t cover such a spread at Arlington Park. Furthermore, they will need a small miracle from Josh Lindblom to deny opponents that chance of scoring a couple of runs, and the fact that he will be under tremendous pressure won’t help his cause.