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The Texas Rangers have won three of their first five games this season.
The Chicago Cubs have both of their games this season by an average of 5.5 runs.
Chicago and Texas have not faced each other since 2021.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
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This weekend is set to feature one of the most unique matchups between playoff teams from in the AL and NL. The Texas Rangers (4-2) will play in their tough series yet this season as well as their first road series as they take on the Chicago Cubs (2-3). The two teams will start the series on Friday, April 7th, but the bulk of the series will be on the second weekend of the 2023 MLB season.
This series is set to feature two highly efficient batting teams, which is a key reason for their early season success so far this season. In six games this season, the Rangers accumulated 52 hits (seventh in the AL), 36 runs (third in the AL) and a batting average of .265 (fourth in the AL). This is a team that is able to establish an impressive batting rhythm in their previous series against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles.
Two of the best batters this season for the Rangers are third baseman Josh Jung and centerfielder Adolis Garcia. Jung (.318 batting average) and Garcia (.348 batting average) have combined for 12 runs, 15 hits, three home runs, nine RBIs, 26 total bases, and an on-base percentage of .375 each. They will have a tough matchup against the Cubs’ Saturday starting pitcher Justin Steele, who has only allowed three hits, one walk, and no runs while delivering eight strikeouts in six innings pitched. Steele could continue his hot start to the 2023 season by suppressing the talent batting of the Rangers.
The batting team of the Cubs is just as efficient as the talented batting team of the Rangers. In five games played this season, the Cubs accounted for 28 runs (fifth in the NL), 48 hits (eighth in the NL), four home runs, a team batting average of .273, and a team on-base percentage of .343.
Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson is having a great start to the season and his new team after spending his first seven years with the Atlanta Braves. In five games this season, Swanson has accumulated six runs, 10 hits, two RBIs, four walks, only two strikeouts, a batting average of .500, and an on-base percentage of .585. Swanson is just the kind of star playmaking skills that the Cubs have in the fielding and batting game.
Cubs leftfielder Ian Happ has accounted for a batting average of .438 and an on-base percentage of .609 in five games. Third baseman Patrick Wilson has accounted for a batting average of .375 and an on-base percentage of .444 in five games this season. Three players for the Cubs have accounted for six runs this season while another player had accounted for five runs.
Martin Perez is set to be the starting pitcher for the Rangers going into Saturday’s game versus the Cubs. Jon Gray will be the starting pitcher for the Cubs on Sunday. While four-time MLB All-Star and two-time NL Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom is the star pitcher for the Cubs, it has been Perez and Gray that has been two of the most efficient pitchers for the Cubs.
This series will come down to which great batting team will be more efficient in keeping their rhythm as well as avoiding serious fielding issues that could create opportunities for the other teams to score.
The over/under for the first game of the series on Friday is set at seven. For two teams that can get players on base and establish a sold batting rhythm, that number is significantly lower than anticipated. The talented pitching teams from both teams will look to make potential high-volume scoring series in defensive domination.
The Rangers are coming into this series as the favorite and very likely for the entire weekend as well as their talent throughout the field makes a convincing case. Chicago is a much more dangerous team than its overall record indicates.
Texas is currently on a rough stretch in terms of production through the beginning of the season going into the series at Chicago. In the first two wins over Philadelphia, Texas has accounted for a total of 33 runs. In the last four games, however, the Rangers have averaged two runs per game. The Rangers have too much talent in their batting game to be going through a drop in consistency in a major way.
Chicago, on the other hand, has seen a more consistent scoring performance by 10 runs in the three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers to start the season. In the last two games against Philadelphia, the Cubs have accumulated 18 runs.
In a set of games between two reliable batting teams, it is smart to bet the over of seven runs in either of the games this weekend.
Mitch Garver (.357)
Dansby Swanson (.500)
Mitch Garver & Josh Jung (2)
Patrick Wisdom (2)
Mitch Garver (6)
Patrick Wisdom, Cody Bellinger, & Trey Mancini (5)
Mitch Garver (.400)
Ian Happ (.609)
Adolis Garcia (8)
Dansby Swanson (10)
Jacob deGrom, Martin Perez, Nathan Eovaldi, & Cole Ragans (1)
Marcus Stroman & Adbert Alzolay (1)
Cole Ragans (0.00)
Marcus Stroman (0.00)
Jacob deGrom (18)
Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, & Adbert Alzolay (8)
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What - Texas Rangers vs Chicago Cubs
Where - Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
When - Saturday, April 8, 4:05 PM & Sunday, April 9, 2:20 PM
How to Watch - MLB Network, MLB.TV, MLB Extra Innings, BallySports Midwest, BallySports Southwest
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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