The Texas Rangers have little margin of error in the American League playoff race. Because of that, every game down the stretch is pivotal. Clinging to a one-game lead in the wild card, Texas opens a three-game series Monday (8:05 p.m. ET) against the Boston Red Sox at home.
Texas is -1.5 (+130) on the run line and -158 on the moneyline to win the opener. Meanwhile, Boston is +1.5 (-150) against the spread and +143 to win outright. The projected total is 8.5 (-110 Over, -110 Under).
Who has the edge? Read on as we break down both teams in our Rangers vs Red Sox betting preview.
The Texas Rangers are 79-70 against the run line, including 41-34 at home. The Rangers’ 54.7% cover rate at Globe Life Field is the second highest in MLB, trailing only the Cincinnati Reds (58.7%). Boston, meanwhile, is 74-76 ATS but 40-34 on the road. Texas has also hit the Over in 56% of its baseball games, while Boston’s done so 53.4% of the time. That’s important to remember when assessing the odds in our Rangers vs Red Sox betting preview.
Playoffs Coming Early for Texas
The Texas Rangers remain in the thick of the American League West race, trailing the Houston Astros (84-66) by 1.5 games. But Texas needs to rebound in a hurry after being surprisingly swept by the Cleveland Guardians over the weekend. Texas was outscored 23-6 over the three-game series, watching its hold on the final AL wild card spot dwindle to just a single game.
Oddsmakers are confident that Texas (82-67) will be able to stave off the field, pricing it -300 to make the playoffs. But the Rangers are obviously making life quite difficult on themselves. After a torrid start, Texas is just 30-28 over the second half. That includes a season-high eight-game losing streak in late August. Keep that in mind when evaluating the odds in our Rangers vs Red Sox betting preview.
Fortunately for the Rangers, they control their own fate. Seven of their remaining 13 regular-season games are against the Seattle Mariners, the team directly behind them in the AL standings.
Red Sox Playing Out the String
The Boston Red Sox have lost four straight and 10 of their last 12 games to fall back into last place in the AL East. Boston has already begun to turn the page to next season, having fired Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom. Bloom, who was hired from the Tampa Bay Rays to help rejuvenate Boston’s farm system and stabilize payroll, barely cracked .500 during his stint in Beantown. The highlight was a trip to the AL Championship Series in 2021.
Boston has done enough offensively this season, ranking third in baseball in batting average (.261), 15th in home runs (176) and eighth in runs (736). However, its pitching remains in flux. The Red Sox are just 21st in ERA (4.54) and have seen the likes of James Paxton and Chris Sale fade due to injuries and underperformance.
Notably, the Red Sox are just 26-33 during the season’s second half. They need to go at least 10-2 down the stretch to hit their projected win total of 83.5.
⚾ Game 1 ⚾
Jordan Montgomery vs Kutter Crawford
Montgomery, acquired prior to the Aug. 1 trade deadline, is 9-11 with a 3.47 ERA. More importantly, in eight starts with Texas, the left-hander has registered a 3.62 ERA. He ranks 23rd among the 2023 MLB leaders with 168.2 innings pitched. Boston will counter with Crawford, who is 6-7 with a 4.26 ERA. He’s struggled particularly of late, with 12 runs allowed over his last 11 innings.
⚾ Game 2 ⚾
Nathan Eovaldi vs Tanner Houck
After missing all of August with a right forearm strain, Eovaldi has turned in a 7.71 ERA in September. Texas continues to bring him along slowly, as he’s yet to throw more than 73 pitches since coming off the injured list. For the season, the right-hander is 11-4 with a 2.96 ERA.
He opposes Houck, who is 5-9 with a 4.94 ERA. He is coming off arguably his best start of the season, Sept. 14 against the New York Yankees, in which he threw six shutout innings in a 5-0 win.
⚾ Game 3 ⚾
Jon Gray vs Brayan Bello
Gray is 8-8 with a 4.05 ERA. He faces Bello, who is 12-9 with a 3.71 ERA. Bello beat Gray on July 5, holding Texas to two runs over seven innings in a 4-2 victory. Keep that in mind when making your baseball picks.
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