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|Cleveland Guardians||+1.5 (-160)|
|Over 8.5 (-105)|
|Texas Rangers||-1.5 (+135)|
|Under 8.5 (-115)|
These two teams have been heading in opposite directions. The Rangers are 5-11 since June 24, including losing a crucial four-game series with the Astros. Texas starter Jon Gray has also been regressing, with his ERA on the rise. Conversely, we have a Guardians team finally coming to life. That confidence will carry through the break, leading them to an impressive road win to begin the second half of the season.
The Guardians had an awful start to the 2023 season, but things began to turn around for them heading into the All-Star break. They are 13-7 over their last 20 games, which helped Cleveland take the lead in the AL Central. The success came against some soft competition over the last couple of weeks, but they are five games over .500 since May 21. That includes impressive series wins against the Orioles, Twins, and Red Sox. The team has the talent, and it will lead to yet another loss for the Rangers.
Aaron Civale (3-2, 2.56 ERA) is a big reason why we have confidence in this one. The 28-year-old took a significant step forward this season and is continuing to get better. He has had three quality starts over his last four appearances and allowed just five hits over his two July starts (13 innings). Civale has been electric on the road in 2023, with a 1.25 ERA over four starts. He will be set up well to continue his impressive campaign tonight as he faces a Texas team that has been floundering.
Josh Naylor has been a big reason for the Guardians' improved record. He posted a .370 batting average in June and has a .393 average going for July. He is ninth in the league in batting average and fifth in RBIs making him a big reason for Cleveland’s newfound offense's success. Their poor run differential has been climbing, and we think that trend continues tonight with a struggling Jon Gray on the mound for Texas.
Something has been wrong with the Rangers lately. They are 5-11 since June 24, capping it off with an embarrassing series loss to the Nationals. Their AL West lead is now down to just two games, but they have not shown many signs of turning things around. The Rangers' offense is good, but they have also outperformed expectations. Their recent play is closer to what some expected from them to begin the season, and Cleveland will be able to take advantage of that to get the road win tonight.
Jon Gray (6-5, 3.29 ERA) is on the hill for the Rangers tonight. The veteran is having an excellent season, but things have gotten worse as the year has gone. After Gray posted a fantastic 1.95 ERA in May, he had a 3.99 ERA in June and now has a 4.50 ERA in July. Gray has just one quality start in his last four appearances, and it wasn’t pretty. He has allowed eight runs on 16 hits and five walks in his previous two starts. Those struggles will continue tonight, leading to the Rangers' cold streak living on.
While the Rangers’ offense still leads the league in batting average and home runs, their lead has diminished. They haven’t been awful; instead, they look more like what we expected. One reason for their struggles has been Marcus Semien’s cold streak. The second baseman was becoming a top-five AL MVP favorite, but he has been awful in July. He has a .167 batting average this month, with a measly .286 on-base percentage. That is a big weapon to be now missing, and that will help lead to another loss for the Rangers.
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Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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