Both the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers are clinging to slim leads in their respective divisions.
The Brewers are leading the NL Central by three games after getting to 67-57 by taking the first two games of this three-game set in Texas and with the losses the Rangers are ahead of the Astros by 2.5 in the AL West.
The Rangers can’t let their lead slip away to the defending champs, so they’ll send their new toy to the mound for the fourth time since the trade deadline.
Max Scherzer is 12-4 in 22 starts this season with a 3.67 ERA and is coming off his best start of the year. Scherzer will be opposed by Adrian Houser who is 4-4 with a 4.43 ERA in his 15 starts for Milwaukee.
The Brewers are going for the sweep on the road, but they’ll need to beat a rejuvenated Scherzer to do it. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Brewers vs. Rangers odds, run line and total
Brewers vs. Rangers prediction and pick
Max Scherzer is over the hill, but he’s still capable of dominating a major league lineup. He made that clear last time he took the hill with seven scoreless, one-hit innings against the Angels with 11 strikeouts to just one walk.
His strikeout rate is climbing and since joining Texas he has only allowed one home run after giving up 23 in a Mets uniform this year.
It’s not clear yet if Scherzer’s stuff has improved because many of his issues in New York were because his fastball velocity has been down. However, it is clear he’s finding a way to be successful pitching in the AL West.
Right now, he is 82nd percentile in strikeout rate which is a substantial jump from where he was just a few starts ago.
I’m willing to back Scherzer right now until I see him struggle with his new team. Yesterday was a 6-1 Milwaukee win, but three of those runs came off Martin Perez who is now pitching out of the bullpen and was just taking four innings on the chin to preserve the bullpen.
So, really the game was a lot closer than it looked and Texas comes into this one with an entirely fresh bullpen.
I’ll take the Rangers to salvage the final game of this series against Houser and a much more taxed Milwaukee bullpen.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change