Top MLB Betting Series of the Coming Weekend (June 18-19)
Do you remember the 2011 World Series? It was one of the best Fall Classics in many years, with the Texas Rangers taking a 3-2 series lead and within one strike in Game 6 of the first championship in franchise history. However, the Cardinals rallied for the win in Game 6 and then took the clinching Game 7. Texas hasn’t been back to the World Series since. However, the Rangers lead the AL West this season and could see the Cardinals again in the 2016 Fall Classic — although St. Louis will have to get there as a wild-card team. These teams play in the top series of the weekend, with St. Louis the favorite on the MLB betting odds because it’s at home.
In Depth Report on the Top MLB Betting Series of the Coming Weekend (June 18-19)
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was watching from home during Game 6 of that 2011 Series, which David Freese ended with a walk-off home run to send the set to its final game. Matheny was then a catching instructor in the organization.
“I was a fan at that point,” Matheny said. “I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, to witness what we just witnessed?’ It was amazing. My first thought in my mind when [Freese] hit that home run was, ‘This is life-changing stuff.'”
Keep in mind that because this interleague series is in the National League park, it means the Rangers will lose the designated hitter. That’s usually Prince Fielder, but he also can play first base. That would mean Mitch Moreland would head to the bench. Fielder is really struggling, however, so Moreland could get the call. The Cardinals might be one of the better teams in the National League, but they are 9.5 games behind the powerhouse Cubs in the National League Central so the Cards aren’t winning that division.
St. Louis is a -112 favorite on betting lines for Game 1 behind Michael Wacha (2-6, 4.91). Wacha left his last start vs. Pittsburgh with a 2-0 deficit after seven innings but ended with a no-decision after Matt Carpenter’s eighth-inning home run. Wacha gave up only three hits with five strikeouts. He went 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in four starts against Interleague opponents last season. Rangers batters only have 12 plate appearances against him.
The Rangers go with lefty ace Cole Hamels (6-1, 3.14). Hamels beat the Mariners on Sunday by allowing one run in seven innings, and he is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts in June. He is 4-0 with a 1.94 ERA in six starts on the road. His most recent start against St. Louis came on April 27, 2015, when he went seven innings and gave up one run on four hits at Busch Stadium. Hamels has struggled in Interleague Play, with an 8-16 record and 4.85 ERA in 34 starts, but Cardinals hitters are only hitting .244 lifetime against him.
Saturday’s game has the Rangers’ Cesar Ramos (1-3, 4.88) vs. the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez. Ramos is only in the rotation because of the injury to Yu Darvish. Ramos was blasted for eight runs and eight hits over 3.2 innings in Oakland last time out. Martinez (7-5, 3.46) allowed just one run on six hits over 8.1 innings in a 5-1 victory over the Pirates on Saturday. He went through a rough patch in the middle of May, but since May 30, he is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 22.2 innings in three starts.
It’s Texas lefty Martin Perez (6-4, 3.38) vs. the Cardinals’ Mike Leake (5-4, 4.08) on Sunday. Perez beat the A’s on Tuesday by holding them to four runs in seven innings and is now 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA in his last five starts. He is 4-3 with a 3.60 ERA in nine career Interleague starts. Leake won his last start to help the Cardinals complete a sweep of the Pirates and get his record above .500 for the first time this season. He pitched seven innings and gave up three runs.
Expert Betting Prediction
The Cardinals have the huge edge in betting odds for Saturday’s pitching matchup and they will win one of the two other games, probably Sunday’s, to take the series.