A pair of last-place teams from the American League continue a weekend series on the diamond in Charm City. The Texas Rangers are on the road for the second game of a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles Friday night. Texas was swept on the road by the Yankees, losing the finale of their set Wednesday night by a 7-3 count. Baltimore was dumped 4-3 on the road by the Phillies in the rubber game of their three-game set Wednesday night. This article was published prior to the conclusion of the series opener Thursday from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Which team heads into the weekend on a positive note?
Texas Rangers Ready to Put 2021 Behind ThemTexas was swept on the road by the Yankees, extending their current skid to four games. The Rangers have dropped seven of their previous eight and entered Thursday last in the AL West, 36 games behind the Astros for the top spot. They have been eliminated from playoff contention. On Wednesday, Texas got two hits from Isiah Kiner-Falefa while no other player had more than one hit in the contest. Taylor Hearn didn’t factor in the decision as he threw 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Spencer Patton (1-2) took the loss as he allowed four runs on four hits with one walk and one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning of work.
Spencer Howard is on the hill as he makes his 18th appearance and 14th start of the season overall and his seventh start for the Rangers in this one. He comes in 0-4 with a 6.86 ERA, a 1.571 WHIP, 24 walks and 46 strikeouts over 42 innings of work on the year. Howard didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came at home against the White Sox Saturday. He threw three scoreless innings, allowing one hit with three walks and three strikeouts in a game the Rangers went on to win 2-1. On the road this year, Howard is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA, a 1.304 WHIP, 11 walks and 23 strikeouts over 23 innings over nine appearances, six starts. In his 24th career major league appearance and his 20th start, he pitches against the Orioles for the first time. That makes this his first career outing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards as well.
Baltimore Orioles Looking to the FutureBaltimore dropped the rubber game of their three-game set against the Phillies on the road Wednesday for their second straight defeat. The Orioles are buried in the AL East standings, 45.5 games behind the Rays: they are a whopping 37 games behind the fourth-place Blue Jays. They have been long eliminated from playoff contention. On Wednesday, Baltimore finished with seven hits with Pat Valaika the lone player with two. The Orioles were two of 10 with runners in scoring position and had the potential tying run gunned down at the plate in the eighth inning. Keegan Akin didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed one run on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Conner Greene (1-2) took the loss as he allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and no strikeouts over two-thirds of an inning of relief.
Stone cold in the clutch. pic.twitter.com/1de7z4RNvM— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 22, 2021
Alexander Wells is on the hill as he makes his 10th appearance and seventh start of the season for the Orioles here. He comes in 1-3 with a 7.96 ERA, a 1.832 WHIP, 13 walks and 23 strikeouts over 31.2 innings of work on the year. Wells didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came on the road against the Red Sox Sunday. He threw five innings, allowing five runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts in a game the Orioles eventually dropped 8-6. At home this season, Wells is 0-1 with an 8.00 ERA, a 2.00 WHIP, three walks and six strikeouts over nine innings in three appearances, two starts. In his 10th major league appearance and his seventh start, he pitches against the Rangers for the first time. Wells is 0-1 with an 8.00 ERA, a 2.00 WHIP, three walks and six strikeouts over nine innings in three appearances, two starts, in his career at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 during game 2 of a series
- Orioles are 1-5 in their last 6 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- Orioles are 1-5 in Wells' last 6 starts
- Orioles are 0-4 in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s not much to like about either one of these teams when you get right down to it. They enter the final 10 days of the regular season a combined 98 games under .500 and 81.5 games out of first place. Neither pitcher has done much of substance in the majors as they have combined for one win with an ERA well north of seven over 73.2 innings of work. The Orioles have an extremely shaky pitching staff while the Rangers do have a couple of decent relievers that they can lean on if necessary. Texas should be able to do just enough here to come up with the road victory over a Baltimore team continuing to hope for better days.
Full-Game Total Pick
Baltimore is dead last in the majors in runs allowed per game (5.93), a number that gets worse at home, where they allow 6.49 runs a contest. Wells has seen an average of 10.67 runs per game on the board in his six starts this season with the over and under each coming in three times in those outings. Howard has seen an average of eight runs per game on the board in his six starts with the Rangers since coming over from the Phillies. The under is 4-2 in those outings. Texas is a miserable 29th in the majors in runs per game as they average 3.82 runs per contest. Even with Baltimore pitching so miserably this season, this one has a 5-4 or 6-3 kind of feel to it, ending up just short of the total at game’s end.