Rangers v Indians
Most recent starts are the key when making a call on the Cleveland Indians at the Texas Rangers on Thursday. Neither Indians starter Zach McAllister (5-7, 4.31 ERA) nor Derek Holland (10-6, 4.59 ERA) has enjoyed a consistent season in 2012 (in the case of Holland, he’s had to deal with some physical ailments). Both have had their moments, but they’ve typically either gotten on a roll or fallen into a funk at times. With that in mind, Holland is coming off a performance against the Tampa Bay Rays in which he lasted eight innings, allowing just two hits, one run and one walk. He struck out eleven batters which is a career high (also in the outing before that he went seven innings giving up just two runs). In contrast, McAllister only last three innings when facing the Minnesota Twins last time out (it was his second shortest outing of his season). Moreover, in the start before that – against Texas no less – he gave up seven runs on eleven hits in five innings. It was his worst performance of the year. Pick the Rangers at 1.38, not the Indians at 3.05.
Twins v Royals
There will be some happy hitters when the Kansas City Royals visit the Minnesota Twins. The reason: the two pitchers squaring off are struggling. The Twins Liam Hendriks is 0-7 with a 6.20 ERA. He is winless in 16 career starts and, even when staked with a four-run lead in his last outing against the Cleveland Indians, he couldn’t hold it, taking a no decision. The Royals Luis Mendoza has been better than Hendriks this year – 7-9, 4.63 ERA – but he hasn’t thrown well as of late. In his last appearance against the Chicago White Sox he was ripped for ten hits – three of which were home runs. He also gave up four walks in his 5 1/3 innings of work. In his two previous performances before that he gave up a combined eight runs in ten innings. Bottom line: go with over 9.0 runs at a good value of 1.92 as these pitchers will be hard-pressed to get below, which is on at 1.88.