The Texas Rangers will face the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of this four-game series in Texas. The Rangers are hitting right now, and that is a problem for the Rays who are not hitting right now. The Rangers have now won five of their last six games and 10 of their last 15 games overall. Their bullpen is performing way better than expected as well. The Rangers have scored at least four runs in each of their last six games, and they have scored 34 runs overall in the same span.
Martin Perez has been one of the best pitchers in the league this season having not allowed more than one run in any of his past seven starts. He has pitched seven straight games allowing one run or fewer while pitching at least 6 innings. That is so incredible that there’s no way he is able to keep up this pace, but even if he regresses a bit, a 6 inning, 3 run start is still pretty good. I also mentioned the Rangers bullpen, well they’re ranked 12th in the league in ERA. In May, the Rangers had the 5th best bullpen ERA in the league, behind just the Astros, Orioles, Braves, and Guardians.
Ryan Yarbrough is starting for the Rays, and he has been pretty solid other than his first start of the season. However, he won’t be able to go too deep and the Rays had to use a lot of bullpen yesterday. He also tends to pitch much worse on the road. The Rangers struggle at hitting righties but they are significantly better against lefties, ranked 13th in the league in wOBA. They are also ranked 15th in the league in wOBA against lefties in May. On the other hand, the Rays are ranked 27th in the league in wOBA against lefties in May.
I was hoping we would get the Rangers here at plus money, but it seems like the bookmakers have locked on to Martin Perez just like bettors have. This is still essentially a pick ‘em and the Rangers are playing significantly better right now than they have been all season. I think the only ways the Rays can win this game are if it is low scoring, or if it is won off the bullpen, and hitting and the bullpen have both been strengths of the Rangers lately. I like the Rangers at home.