Matt Garza’s positive impact on the Texas Rangers will continue on Sunday against Chicago White Sox. Garza has proved to be a key acquisition for the Rangers. In six starts since leaving the Chicago Cubs and making his debut with Texas on 24 July, he has five wins to his name. He hasn’t been as dominant as one would hope (he has a 4.32 ERA), but he’s shown a knack to throw just well enough to give his team the victory.
Against a White Sox club that is ranked last in the American League in runs scored per game, he won’t have to be his sharpest. That said he did prove his ability to succeed against the club at U.S. Cellular Field back on 8 July. In that game, Garza went seven innings, allowing five hits, no walks and one earned run, while striking out six.
The Rangers’ offensive prospects in this outing are also good. Chicago’s starter, left-hander John Danks, is 3-10 with a 4.22 ERA. Generally speaking, Rangers hitters feast against lefty starters, hitting .281 with a .351 on base percentage and a .440 slugging percentage. Against righties those numbers drop to .253/.312/.401. Go with the Rangers to win at 1.65.
In Cincinnati, Tony Cingrani’s excellence against the Milwaukee Brewers this year will be key for the Reds. Cingrani has been an essential – and unexpected – ace in the Cincinnati pitching rotation. When Johnny Cueto was felled with an injury, Cingrani stepped up admirably, and has gone 6-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 16 starts. While his ERA is a little higher than that against the Brewers (in three outings this season he owns a 2.60 ERA versus Milwaukee), Cingrani has struck out 23 in 17 1/3 innings pitched.
That stat suggests that while the Brewers have been lucky with some hits, Cingrani has the ability to overpower their line-up. Indeed, in 53 plate appearances, Brewers hitters own a measly .204 lifetime batting average against Cingrani.
Milwaukee’s Marco Estrada, who has a far less impressive 4.80 ERA, cannot boast a great history against Reds hitters. Overall, they have a .289 batting average against him. But what’s more telling is that they connect off of him for power in a significant manner. In 96 plate appearances, Cincinnati’s batters own a .600 slugging percentage (and have hit a substantial eight home runs) against the pitcher. The Reds are the pick here.