A pair of American League teams battling in their respective division races continue a series on the diamond in Charm City. The Texas Rangers are on the road as they play the middle game of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles Saturday afternoon. Texas took two of three on the road from the Pirates in interleague action, winning the rubber game 3-2 Wednesday afternoon. Baltimore took two of three on the road in the Bronx as they prevailed 3-1 in the rubber game of that set Thursday night. This article was published prior to the conclusion of the opening game of this series Friday night.
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Texas Rangers Hoping to Pad AL West LeadTexas won their second straight and fifth in the last six games as they took down the Pirates in the Steel City Wednesday afternoon to close that set. The Rangers entered Friday 31-18 and held a three-game advantage over the Astros for the top spot in the AL West. Against the Pirates Wednesday, Texas tallied three times in the top of the first and made it stand up to earn the win. Josh Jung (RBI) and Nathaniel Lowe (run) each had two hits in the game while Marcus Semien hit his eighth homer of the season. Martin Perez (6-1) earned the win as he threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Will Smith threw the final 1.2 innings, allowing no runs on no hits with no walks and two strikeouts, to earn his ninth save.
Andrew Heaney is on the bump for the Rangers as he logs his 10th start of the season in this contest. He comes in 3-3 with a 4.13 ERA, a 1.208 WHIP, 20 walks and 52 strikeouts over 48 innings of work on the year. Heaney earned the win in his last start, which came Sunday at home against the Rockies. He threw six innings, allowing one run (none earned) on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a game the Rangers won 13-3. In his last three starts, Heaney is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, six walks and 21 strikeouts over 18.2 innings of work. Heaney makes his seventh career appearance and sixth start against the Orioles in this contest. He comes in 1-3 with a 9.51 ERA, a 1.817 WHIP, four walks and 15 strikeouts over 23.2 innings of work against them. Heaney didn’t factor in the decision in his lone career start at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which came with the Angels on August 18, 2017. He threw five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a 9-7 Angels loss.
Baltimore Orioles Trying to Chase Down AL East LeadBaltimore earned their second straight win and their fifth in the last six games as they took down the Yankees in the rubber game of their series in the Bronx Thursday. The Orioles improved to 33-17 on the year going into Friday and stood second in the AL East, three games behind the Rays for the top spot. In Thursday’s rubber game with the Yankees, Baltimore got three of their seven hits from Anthony Santander (run, RBI) while Austin Hays drove in the other two runs in the contest. Kyle Gibson (6-3) earned the win as he threw seven shutout frames, allowing two hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Yennier Cano worked the ninth, allowing one run on one hit with one walk and one strikeout, but earned his fourth save.
Dean Kremer takes the hill for the Orioles as he makes his 11th start of the season in this contest. He is 5-1 with a 4.61 ERA, a 1.481 WHIP, 15 walks and 43 strikeouts over 52.2 innings of work this season. Kremer didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Sunday on the road against Toronto. He threw 5.1 innings, allowing one run on nine hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in a game Baltimore went on to win 8-3 in 11 innings. In his last three starts, Kremer is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, four walks and 15 strikeouts over 17 innings of work. Kremer makes his third career start against the Rangers in this contest. He has no record, a 5.79 ERA, a 1.714 WHIP, three walks and 10 strikeouts over 9.1 innings of work. Kremer is 7-7 with a 4.32 ERA, a 1.256 WHIP, 40 walks and 106 strikeouts over 131.1 innings in 25 career appearances, 24 starts, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
We’ve got a matchup of a pair of teams that are playing good baseball as we head into the Memorial Day weekend. The Rangers lead the AL West and are tied for the most runs in the AL with Tampa Bay entering Friday, though they have played three fewer games. Baltimore has piled up the fourth-most runs in the American League entering Friday night’s action. Heaney has had major issues against the Orioles in his career with an ERA north of nine, which could put pressure on the Rangers’ bats to pile up some runs. Kremer has pitched well of late and that works in Baltimore’s favor, as well as home-field advantage. Give the slight edge to the Orioles in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Texas has seen the over post a 29-18-2 mark in their 49 games in relation to the total entering Friday. The Rangers are first in the majors in runs per game with 6.33 runs per contest and that slides down to an average of 5.88 runs per game on the road. Texas has posted an average total of 10.37 runs per game this season, which drops down to 9.60 runs per game as the visiting team. Baltimore has seen the over post a 26-21-3 mark on the season entering Friday’s action. The Orioles are tied for 6th in the majors with an average of 5.14 runs per game. That number falls slightly to an average of 4.35 runs per game at home this season. Baltimore sees an average total of 9.38 runs per game this year, a number that falls slightly to 8.84 runs a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. With two power offenses and favorable weather conditions, look for some offensive fireworks. This game winds up over the number.