Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#6911 Texas Rangers vs.
#6912 Baltimore Orioles
Friday, May 26, 2023 at 7:05pm EDT
Written by Mark Ruelle

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Two of baseball's better teams in 2023 will do battle this weekend as the Texas Rangers head to Baltimore to take on the Orioles in a three-game weekend series. The Rangers come into the series leading the AL West Division with the third-best record in the American League. The Orioles, meanwhile, have the second-best record in the American League and are in second place in the American League East. The pitching matchup on Friday night will be Rangers' righty Jon Gray (4-1, 3.02) taking on Orioles right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (2-1, 6.21). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EST.

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Armed to Compete

Despite a recent charge by the Houston Astros, the Texas Rangers continue to pace the AL West heading into this weekend's series with the Orioles. Texas has won five of its last six games and seven of its last ten thanks to the best offense in the American League and a vastly improved starting rotation. Even without free-agent pickup Jacob deGrom over the last few weeks, the Rangers starting pitching has continued to get the job done behind an offense that is averaging over six runs per game. On Wednesday afternoon in the series finale with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Rangers took the three-game series with a second straight win, 3-2, over the Pirates. Starter Martin Perez went seven innings and allowed just two runs while closer Will Smith picked up his 100th career save in the win.

“It's a cool number,” Smith said. “It's obviously nowhere close to the top. But it's cool to say you have 100 saves. (Manager Bruce) Bochy was the first guy to give me a chance in the ninth back in San Francisco. I enjoy that inning. I think it's fun.”

The Rangers will hand the ball off to veteran righty Jon Gray on Friday night. Gray is 4-1 with four quality starts among his nine starts thus far this season. He has an ERA of 3.02 while allowing 41 hits in 50.2 innings of work with a K/9 rate of 6.9. On the road this season, Gray has been excellent. He is 3-0 with an ERA of 2.20 and three quality starts in his five road appearances. Gray has a 6.6 K/9 rate on the road this season. Gray has reduced his hard-hit percentage to just 35% this season.

Key Injuries: SP Jacob deGrom and OF Travis Jankowski are out and Ezequial Duran is day-to-day

Orioles Keeping Pace

The Baltimore Orioles continue to keep pace with the front-running Rays, just two games back in the loss column despite the dominant start of the Rays. Baltimore has won four of its last five games including a sweep of the Blue Jays on the road over the weekend. The Orioles then went into the Bronx, splitting the first two games of a three-game set with the Yankees heading into Thursday night's series finale. In the final game of the road trip, the Orioles were able to finish strong with a 3-1 win over the Yankees to wrap up an impressive 5-1 road trip through Toronto and New York. Starter Kyle Gibson allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings to lead the O's to victory.

The Orioles hope to keep their winning ways going on Friday night as they send right-hander Grayson Rodriguez to the hill in game one of this series. Rodriguez is 2-1 on the season but has an inflated ERA of 6.21 in nine starts. Rodriguez has yet to record a quality start on the season while allowing 51 hits in 42 innings pitched. At home, Rodriguez is 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA in four starts this season and has allowed 27 hits in just 18.1 innings of work.

Key Injuries: IF Ramon Urias is out.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Jump on this money line early as it seems too good to be true in this matchup. Gray has been excellent on the road with an ERA hovering near 2.00 and an undefeated record. He is backed by baseball's best offense averaging nearly six and a half runs per game. He opposes Baltimore starter Rodriguez who has an ERA over seven at home this season. Rodriguez has yet to have a quality start on the season meaning that the Rangers will get to an Orioles' bullpen that did not have the benefit of having a day off on Thursday, unlike the Rangers. The Rangers have hit 25 home runs in 25 road games this season and are hitting near .260 on the road this season as a team. Gray has a solid 1.16 WHIP this season but an even better 0.91 WHIP on the road which is imperative against an Orioles team that likes to work the count and earn walks so the team can steal and play its small-ball style of play. Gray will keep the Orioles off the bases while his teammates do their damage against Rodriguez on the offensive end.

Take the Rangers with the money line.

Prediction: Rangers +105

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Baseball's highest-scoring team will be rested and ready to go on Friday night against a pitcher that has struggled to keep the opposition off the board. Texas will likely do much of the heavy lifting to get this game over what is a reasonable total of just 8.5 runs. The Rangers are averaging nearly 6.5 runs per game themselves and have gone over the total in eight of their last ten games. While the Orioles don't possess the same kind of 1-9 power that the Rangers have, the Orioles are fifth in runs per game and are averaging over seven runs per game in their last three games. In Rodriguez starts this season, Baltimore is 6-3 to the over.

Take the over.

Prediction: Over 8.5

Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.