Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario (46) during a baseball game at Fenway Park, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
- The Detroit Tigers are -135 home favorites against the Texas Rangers in Thursday’s game
- Detroit has won three straight over Texas
- Texas has scored two runs or fewer in seven consecutive games
The Texas Rangers exploded for two runs on Wednesday. Still, that wasn’t enough to get the better of the Detroit Tigers.
Detroit’s 4-2 victory was the eighth successive loss suffered by the Rangers. They’ve scored more than two runs just once during the skid. Texas has been shutout three times over that span.
The Tigers, meanwhile, are rolling. They’ve won a season-high six in a row. They haven’t won seven straight in five years.
Detroit will also be looking for a seventh series sweep of the season. The Tigers posted six series sweeps in the three previous seasons combined.
Since returning from the All-Star break, Detroit has outscored opponents 35-7. The Tigers are -135 favorites to keep winning on Wednesday. Detroit is 7-5 straight up as a betting favorite this season.
Rangers vs Tigers Odds
|Texas Rangers||+115||+1.5 (-165)||O 9.0 (-120)|
|Detroit Tigers||-135||-1.5 (+145)||U 9.0 (+100)|
Odds as of July 22nd at DraftKings.
Rangers starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz is 0-2 and has surrendered 17 earned runs in 15 innings over his past three starts. Foltynewicz has served up an MLB-leading 28 home runs this season.
Mike Foltynewicz is the only pitcher this season with double-digit walks who has allowed more home runs (28) than walks (23).
If that holds, it would be the 20th-highest walk total ever to have even more home runs allowed. https://t.co/xS4o2LrrRY
— Pãul (@BravesStats) July 19, 2021
In his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, Foltynewicz was hammered for 10 earned runs in 1.2 innings. He shows an 8.10 road ERA this season, allowing opposing hitters to slash 314/.356/.645 in away games.
The righty is posting his worst home run (2.5) and strikeouts (6.4) per nine innings numbers in a full season during his big-league career.
Foltynewicz vs Alexander
The Tigers will send left-hander Tyler Alexander to the mound. That could be bad news for the Rangers.
Texas is batting .238 against southpaws, 22nd in the majors. The Rangers are 28th in on-base percentage (.297) and OPS (.672) when facing lefties. They are 20th against left-handers in terms of won-loss record (17-17).
Tyler Alexander needs to coin this: He was asked how he would describe his role.
–”Utility relief pitcher.”
— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) July 18, 2021
Alexander was summoned from the bullpen to step into the rotation. This will be his second straight starting appearance. The Tigers are missing three-fifths of their starting rotation. Spencer Turnbull (Tommy John surgery) is lost for the season. Matthew Boyd and José Ureña are also on the injured list
Overall, the Tigers are 7-20 in games in which Alexander has pitched but 2-1 in games that he has started.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Rangers Batters||Batting Average vs Alexander||Tigers Batters||Batting Average vs Foltynewicz|
|Charlie Culberson||.000||Akil Baddoo||.000|
|David Dahl||.000||Miguel Cabrera||.000|
|Joey Gallo||.000||Jeimer Candelario||.000|
|Adolis Garcia||.000||Harold Castro||.000|
|Johan Heim||.000||Grayson Greiner||.500|
|John Hicks||.000||Robbie Grossman||.250|
|Brock Holt||.000||Eric Haase||.000|
|Andy Ibanez||.000||Derek Hill||.000|
|Isiah Kiner-Falefa||.333||Isaac Paredes||.000|
|Nathaniel Lowe||.000||Victor Reyes||.000|
|Nick Solak||.000||Jonathan Schoop||.000|
|Eli White||.000||Zack Short||.000|
Tigers backup catcher Grayson Greiner isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball. But his .231 average is a significant step up from the .118 he batted last season. He’s never finished with a batting average higher than .219 during his major-league career.
Against Foltynewicz, Greiner is batting .500 (1-for-2). That one hit was a solo home run.
Top 1st – BlueJays challenge call that Isiah Kiner-Falefa is safe at 2B; call stands, runner is safe. Powered by @Mitel. pic.twitter.com/SX0ANdPxC8
— MLB Replays (@MLBReplays) July 18, 2021
Shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa is the only Rangers player with a hit off of Alexander. He’s 1-for-3. Kiner-Falefa is a lifetime .234 hitter (11-for-47) when facing the Tigers.
2021 MLB MVP Odds Tracker
Rangers vs Tigers Pick
Everything points to a Tigers win. They’re on a roll, while the Rangers are in a rut. Detroit has the longest active winning streak in the majors. Texas has the longest active losing streak in the majors.
They’ve scored an AL-low 3.6 runs per game. Earlier this week, the Rangers went 27 innings without scoring a run. Foltynewicz is struggling and the Rangers play poorly against left-handed starting pitchers.
It might be tempting to go contrarian and play the Rangers to end their skid. But sometimes, what’s staring you in the face is too overwhelming to ignore.
Pick: Detroit Tigers (-135)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.