The Texas Rangers stumbled at the end of the regular season, but they didn't let that stop them from beating the 99-win Tampa Bay Rays in two-straight games to advance to the ALDS.
Now, they take on the winner of the AL East in the Baltimore Orioles. Can they keep the good times rolling and upset the No. 1 seed in the American League?
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Rangers vs. Orioles probable pitchers for Game 1
- Texas: Dane Dunning (righty): 12-7, 3.70 ERA
- Baltimore: Kyle Bradish (righty): 12-7, 2.83 ERA
Rangers vs. Orioles odds, run line, and total
Rangers vs. Orioles prediction and pick
I'm not a believer in the Baltimore Orioles, so I'm going to fade them throughout the playoffs until they're eliminated, including in this Game 1 matchup against the Rangers.
They experienced what some might call "luck" throughout the season, which you can see hints at when you look at their numbers. They finished with the best record in the American League at 101-61, but had a run differential of +129. That's the same run differential as the 90-72 Houston Astros and 36 runs worse than the 90-72 Texas Rangers.
According to TeamRankings.com, the Orioles had the highest win percentage in "close games" this season. To me, that's an indication of luck that won't last over the long term.
They've also had the much better offense of late. Over the last 30 days, they rank seventh in OPS (.772) compared to the Orioles who come in at 18th (.713).
I'm going to trust the numbers and back the Rangers as underdogs.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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