The youth movement in Baltimore has yielded incredible results thus far as the Orioles are squarely in the mix for a postseason berth, well ahead of schedule in the team's rebuild.
The Orioles return home after a series with AL East foe Yankees to host the AL West leading Texas Rangers to start a weekend series. Both teams have been buoyed by elite offensive play, but the edge in this one comes with the pitching.
Here's what I'm eyeing to bet in Rangers vs. Orioles on Friday night:
Rangers vs. Orioles odds, run line and total
Rangers vs. Orioles prediction and pick
Grayson Rodriguez draws the start for the Orioles, who has had an up-and-down effort rookie campaign. He has a 6.21 ERA that is anchored by two starts in which he allowed 14 combined runs in seven total innings pitched. Outside of that , we have seen pinpoint control with only one start allowing more than four earned runs in seven other starts.
Overall, the Orioles are 7-2 in Rodriguez's starts and have the second best bullpen ERA of any team in the big leagues.
Meanwhile, Jon Gray sits as a major regression candidate. While his 3.02 ERA seems strong on the surface, he is supported by a 4.82 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), which means that he has been on the right side of some positive variance in the field. Overall, his strikeout numbers are way down this season, below seven per nine innings which is nearly two strikeouts lower than last season.
The Rangers rate out better in most hitting statistics, third in slugging percentage while the Orioles are ninth, but I give them a decent pitching advantage, especially when factoring in that the Rangers have the fourth worst bullpen ERA this season.
I'll take the Orioles as small home favorites.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.