The Texas Rangers are taking on the Kansas City Royals in the first of a three-game AL series on Monday night. The Rangers looking to inch closer to .500 and the Royals looking to bounce back after losing two straight to the Athletics. Here is my complete prediction and breakdown.
Pushing for 500
Texas is playing solid baseball at the moment and are getting close to a record above .500. They are now heading into a 9 game road trip that will test the team. Over their last 5 games the Rangers are 3-2, batting an average of .250 and hitting 1.6 home-runs per game. The Rangers pitching staff has also been playing well lately with starters averaging a 3.09 ERA and relievers a 2.18 ERA over their last 5.
Corey Seager has been dangerous against the Royals in the past, including three home runs in 10 at bats. The star shortstop is have a great season after signing with Texas, including 32 RBI’s and 15 home runs with a .730 OPS.
For this game the Rangers are handing the ball to leftie Martin Perez for his 15th start on the season. Perez is having a great season posting a 5-2 record over 87.1 innings of work, resulting in a 1.96 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. All solid numbers. He is also coming off a great game where he went 6 innings against the Phillies allowing no runs on six hits, including 6 strikeouts. Last month the veteran allowed four runs (one earned) in 6.1 innings against the Royals.
The Kansas City Royals have actually been competitive recently going 6-4 in their last 10 games, winning two out of their last three series. However, the Royals are still a sub-par team, coming off back-to-back losses at home to the Oakland Athletics.
The possible reason for their Royals more recent success could actually be their offence waking up. 30 year-old Hunter Dozier has six base hits in his last six games, raising his season batting average to .254, with 22 RBI’s.
Taking the mound for the Royals is Kris Bubic for the 11thtime this season. Although solid in his last effort, allowing just 2 runs in six innings, Bubic has struggled for the most part this season. He is posting horrendous numbers, a 7.41 ERA and 1.79 WHIP leading to a 1-4 record over 34 innings of work. He has allowed a total of 9 runs in his last 3 starts. The Royals pitching staff are recording a 4.98 ERA ranking them 28th in the Majors, so there is no safety in turning to the Arm Barn is Bubic is struggling.
Rangers on Top
The Rangers are playing solid baseball at the moment, despite their current record being below .500. With the Royals being one of the worst teams in baseball I am trusting Martin Perez to put the Rangers in a good positon well into the 6 or 7th inning. He has allowed either 0 or 1 earned run in 10 out of his last 12 starts and I expect him to do the same thing here. Plus, the Rangers have some good bats and should be able to score easily on Bubic.
Back the Rangers, with value on the money line.
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