The Texas Rangers will lose the designated hitter on Friday night because they make a rare visit to Cincinnati to take on the Reds in the opener of an interleague series. The Reds will be favored on the MLB Lines to take Game 1 of the three-game set.
Rangers vs Reds MLB Spread, Game Info & Expert Pick
- When: Friday, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Great American Ball Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): TBA/Tyler Mahle
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: SiriusXM
- MLB Spread: TBA
Why Bet on Texas?
This is normally lefty Drew Smyly’s spot in the rotation, but he won’t make it. Smyly’s rotation spot had been on thin ice with an 8.40 ERA and 1.91 WHIP across 45 innings for the season. And now he’ll go to the bullpen. Perhaps it hasn’t helped that Smyly is dealing with lingering effects of a sprained ankle that first surfaced in mid-May.
“It just, honestly, alleviates some of the stress of having to go through it again,” GM Chris Woodward said of moving Smyly to the bullpen. “Would another start have helped? Maybe. Maybe it would have allowed him another chance to test out what he’s been working on, but we’ll put him in the bullpen.
So who starts here? Could be Joe Palumbo, but he would have to be called up from Triple-A. Palumbo allowed four runs over four innings in his start against the A’s on last Saturday in game one of a doubleheader in his MLB debut. He held the A’s scoreless the first three innings but allowed four runs in the fourth. Palumbo showed signs why he’s considered one of the best pitching prospects in the Rangers’ system. Another Triple-A starter, Jonathan Hernandez, is also on the 40-man roster and could be in the mix.
Texas has the 2nd highest road earned run average (5.30) and highest opponents’ batting average (.278) of any MLB team. On the other hand, the Rangers are 24-12 (.667) at home, 3rd best in the A.L., 5th best winning percentage in majors.
Asdrubal Cabrera, he is 5-for-11 with 10 RBI with the bases loaded in 2019. Cabrera has all 40 of his RBI while playing third base, 2nd most in the American League for a third baseman to Boston’s Rafael Devers (42). Cabrera is batting .413 over his past 14 games. That is the American League’s third-best average in that span.
- Runs: 5.68
- Hits: 8.85
- Walks: 3.72
- Strike Outs: 9.84
- Runs: 5.16
- Hits: 9.43
- Walks: 3.68
- Strike Outs: 8.38
Why Bet on Cincinnati?
The Reds and Rangers will meet for just the seventh series ever and for the first time since the 2016 season when the teams split a pair of 2-game series. The Reds are 8-8 all-time vs Texas, going 1-2 at Great American Ball Park in 2007 and 3-0 at GABP in 2004. The Rangers are 1 of 3 AL teams vs. which the Reds have a .500 record (12-12 vs Min, 13-13 vs Det).
The Reds split two games in Cleveland to open this week, winning 7-2 on Wednesday. Eugenio Suarez was one of four Reds to homer Wednesday. It ended a 15-game homerless drought for Suarez, who last went deep on May 24. He’s still batting just .167 for the month with nine strikeouts in 36 June at-bats.
Joey Votto was removed from Wednesday’s game due to mid-back stiffness. Votto hit a solo home run to right-center field in his first at-bat, but he grounded out in the top of the third inning and the Reds pinch-hit for him in the of the fifth.
It’s Tyler Mahle on the mound. Mahle was doing well during much of last Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies. But he threw an untimely curveball that Jay Bruce slugged for a critical two-run homer. Mahle (2-6) allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with two strikeouts and no walks across five innings while taking the loss
The 24-year-old was cruising through four innings, but then in the fifth, he yielded three straight hits, including the two-run homer to Bruce. The other hit came around to score on a throwing error by Tucker Barnhart. Mahle has been inconsistent, but he’s been better than his record, especially lately. He is 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA in his last six outings. Overall, Mahle owns a 4.21 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 69 strikeouts in 66.1 innings this season.
Mahle is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in five Interleague starts, but he has never faced Texas.
- Runs: 4.26
- Hits: 7.82
- Walks: 3.09
- Strike Outs: 8.76
- Runs: 3.70
- Hits: 7.74
- Walks: 3.20
- Strike Outs: 9.62
Rangers vs Reds MLB Betting Trends
- Rangers are 2-5 in their last 7 interleague road games vs. a right-handed starter
- Reds are 7-3 in their last 10 games following an off day
- Rangers are 11-5 SU in their last 16 games played in June
- Reds are 2-11 SU in their last 13 games against an opponent in the American League
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Texas’ last 6 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cincinnati’s last 5 games this season
Texas Rangers 5 – Cincinnati Reds 6