Billy J’s MLB Picks – Texas Rangers @ Kansas City Royals

Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (+0.29 units), gives his best bet for today!

Quietly, the Texas Rangers are making some noise in the American League. Currently sitting at 36-37, the Rangers are looking to complete a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals to get back to .500 for the first time since May 31st. They are currently second in the American League West division and can potentially find themselves in the Wild Card conversation. Before we get too crazy thinking about plus playoff odds and if they will make any moves near the trade deadline, let’s focus on their matchup today to see if they take care of business.

To get back to .500, the Rangers will have to go against a familiar foe in Zack Greinke (1-4, 4.68 ERA). Greinke has one start under his belt since returning from the injured list due to a forearm strain. In that start against the A’s he had an impressive outing in which he got the win by pitching six innings and allowing just three hits while striking out four.  Before going on the injured list, Greinke was over a 5+ ERA and includes a 2.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is the lowest in his career since his 2006 campaign. It is not the typical strikeout numbers we see from Greinke where he had a recent stretch in his career from 2017-2020 where it was 4.63 or higher. Greinke is using his full arsenal of pitches to keep hitters off balance and relying more on his defense with his lower strikeout totals.

Facing off against Greinke today will be Dane Dunning (1-5, 4.17 ERA). All statistics on Dunning are not eye-popping by any measure and the Rangers have lost seven straight starts in which he pitched and lost nine of the last ten starts. Dunning will be making his sixth start of June and has started to pitch much better of late. His 3.90 ERA in June also is nothing to really note, but it is keeping the Rangers in these games. Just looking at his June starts alone, the team as a whole has only scored ten runs in his five starts. At some point that trend has to break.

In just this series alone the Rangers bats have given the Royals fits. In the two games they have scored 18 runs. This only includes just two home runs; one in each game. And the Rangers have 28 hits in the two games. The Rangers are rolling and I expect the bats to stay hot to complete the sweep and get back to .500 again.

The Pick: Rangers -115 on Caesars SportsBook for 1 unit

Bonus: Speaking of sweeps, let’s include the Yankees here with the Rangers to take care of business against the Oakland A’s. Rangers/Yankees two-team parlay for 1 unit +151 

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