The first game of the day around baseball on Thursday will be Cleveland’s final game in the Dallas area this year as the Indians wrap up a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. Behind surprising ace Mike Minor, the hosts are short underdogs on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Indians at Rangers MLB Lines & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 2:05 PM ET
- Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Shane Bieber/Mike Minor
- TV: MLB Network
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: 105.3 The Fan
- MLB Lines: Cleveland Indians -125 (Total 9)
Why Bet on Cleveland?
If the Indians decide to be sellers at the trade deadline, they could get a ton for closer Brad Hand, who should be named an All-Star. Hand is 20-for-20 in save chances this season (as of Wednesday). The 29-year-old is one of 4 qualified pitchers without a blown save and has the 2nd-most save opportunities without a blown save (20) behind San Diego’s Kirby Yates (26-for-26).
Among qualified relievers, Hand ranks 2nd in ERA at 0.88 (3ER/30.2IP), 7th in opponent average against (.144) and 8th in WHIP (0.75). Hand hasn’t allowed a run in 13 consecutive outings (14.0 IP), the 2nd-longest streak by appearances in his career behind a run of 23 consecutive outings (24.0 IP) without allowing a run from June 14-Aug. 8, 2017 with San Diego.
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber allowed two runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk across 7.2 innings to earn a victory against the Tigers on Saturday. Things got a little challenging for Bieber in the seventh, as he allowed the first four batters to reach and two runners scored, but he escaped that frame without further damage because of a strikeout and double play.
Outside of the seventh, Bieber allowed just one other hit. It was also the third time in his last six outings where he struck out at least 10 batters. Bieber is 6-2 with a 3.92 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 108 strikeouts in 85 innings this season. Bieber, 4-0 in his last six starts, is 2-0 against the Tigers this year with a 1.23 ERA.
Bieber’s slider was nasty in Saturday’s win. The slider induced 12 swinging strikes and seven called strikes while only being put into play six times on the night. His big curveball was also thrown for nine swinging strikes. Heading into that start, Bieber was having a hard time separating from his last start. In that game, he allowed five runs and lasted just 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees.
“I tried to flush it as much as I could,” said Bieber. “But we’re all competitors in here and we want to go out there and prove what we can do. That was in the back of my mind.”
- Runs: 4.41
- Hits: 7.74
- Walks: 3.75
- Strike Outs: 8.49
- Runs: 4.18
- Hits: 7.88
- Walks: 2.88
- Strike Outs: 9.42
Why Bet on Texas?
Outfielder Hunter Pence could return from the 10-day injured list when first eligible, or soon thereafter. Pence was placed on the IL on Monday after straining his right groin on Sunday, but the Rangers are optimistic he’ll be back relatively soon. The 36-year-old was having a huge bounce-back season with a .294/.353/.608 batting line and 15 home runs.
Fellow outfielder Joey Gallo could return to the Rangers’ active roster next Tuesday for the start of a series against the Tigers. Gallo recently reported to the Rangers’ spring training complex in Arizona to ramp up his rehabilitation from a left oblique strain. He’s having an outstanding season for the Rangers, slashing .276/.421/.653 with 17 long balls and 41 RBI.
Rangers lefty Mike Minor (6-4) earned the win Saturday versus the Reds by allowing three runs on four hits across 6.1 innings. He struck out six and walked four. Minor didn’t have his best command Saturday — the four walks represent a new season high — but he managed to keep the Reds off the board beside a pair of home runs. Saturday’s outing was his ninth quality start of the season. He did what aces are required to do, he helped pitch his team to victory even when he lacked his best stuff.
The 31-year-old has a 2.63 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 99:32 K:BB through 95.2 innings. Minor is 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA in his past 10 starts, with a 1.29 WHIP and 10.6 strikeouts per 9 innings. He is 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA in seven starts at home. He has made seven relief appearances against the Indians in his career, but this is his first start.
Minor’s 4.5 bWAR is first in the majors, nearly a full-win ahead of second-place Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers. Minor’s strikeout rate is hovering around 25 percent, which is considerably higher than his career 21.8 percent. He’s averaging a near-.300 BABIP-against, which is about league average. Even though Minor’s walk rate is a bit higher than last year, 7.7 percent is still at league average. His strand rate this season is an obscene 87.1 percent, much higher than his 74.6 percent career mark, and well above league average.
- Runs: 5.59
- Hits: 8.74
- Walks: 3.73
- Strike Outs: 9.88
- Runs: 5.24
- Hits: 9.43
- Walks: 3.65
- Strike Outs: 8.36
Indians vs Rangers MLB Betting Trends
- Indians are 6-1 in Bieber’s last 7 road starts vs. a team with a winning record
- Rangers are 0-5 in Minor’s last 5 home starts vs. a team with a winning record
- Indians are 7-2 SU in their last 9 games when playing on the road against Texas
- The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Cleveland’s last 18 games against an opponent in the American League West division
- Rangers are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the American League
- The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Texas’ last 20 games at home
Cleveland Indians 5 – Texas Rangers 4