Texas Rangers MLB Future Odds with Return of Derek Holland
Derek Holland missed just about all of the 2014 MLB betting season with Texas thanks to his dog knocking him down the stairs and injuring his knee. He made it back for the start of the 2015 season, but then he injured his shoulder in the first inning of his first start. Now, in mid-August, he has returned to the rotation. And oh, what a return. On Sunday, he threw a complete-game shutout of the Baltimore Orioles to give the Rangers an even firmer footing in the second wild card position. For a team that had a horrendous April and a terrible first half of June, this is a team that could be peaking at the right time.
A Quick Look at the Texas Rangers MLB Future Odds with Return of Derek Holland
It gets hot in Texas, so it’s no surprise Rangers LHP Derek Holland was all for this postgame shower. pic.twitter.com/97wKqBwoqn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 30, 2015
The best news is in the Rangers’ starting rotation now. Remember, the team is still missing their true ace, Yu Darvish, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t be back until 2015. However, the Rangers do have, all of a sudden, a daunting rotation. Holland is back. Martin Perez, also after a long stay on the disabled list, is back. Cole Hamels, the former Philadelphia ace, is on the team now. Colby Lewis has 14 wins. Yovani Gallardo only has 10 but has been a solid innings-eater all season long. Suddenly, the Rangers just might have the best rotation of anyone contending for the American League pennant.
Holland retired the last 14 hitters in his shutout on Sunday, striking out five of those 14. On the whole day, the O’s only got two runners to second base, and none to third. Holland had not thrown a complete game since September 23, 2013. It looks like Holland’s health is back. For his three starts after returning from the disabled list, Holland is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA. His fastball his nailing 94 on the gun just like it used to. He has only walked one batter in 21 1/3 innings. Since Holland made his first start on August 19, the rotation as a whole is 9-2 with a chilly 2.16 ERA. The Rangers are breathing down the collective neck of the Houston Astros, who only lead by three games.
As Rangers manager Jeff Banister told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, “When you have those guys out there, it gives you comfort that you’re going to get some length. If we can score them some runs, they’re going to keep the game where it is. They give us a great opportunity to win ballgames.”
In the weekend series against the O’s, Texas’ rotation only permitted four runs in 23 1/3 innings. For Holland, the improvement on Sunday came from working both sides of the plate instead of just pounding away at the inside half. He used his sinker to get the Orioles to ground into six outs. The Orioles did get runners at first and second with just one away in the fifth inning, but it only took Holland three more pitches to get out of the inning, as Paul Janish and Manny Machado weakly popped out to right on sinkers.
If the Rangers keep pitching this way, they could be the talk of the American League playoffs. And if Josh Hamilton can return to deliver dramatic heroics with his bat? Who knows where the Rangers could finish up?