The Rangers took Tuesday’s series opener 6-2. Dane Dunning went six innings to get the win, allowing one run on six hits, and Will Smith threw 0.1 scoreless innings to pick up his 15th save.
Mitch Garver was 2 for 2 with a home run and a double in the win. He scored two runs and had four RBIs. Robbie Grossman went 3 for 4 with a double and one RBI. Jarren Duran went 2 for 3 with a triple and a double for the Red Sox. He scored one run.
ON THE MOUND
Jon Gray (6-4, 3.21 ERA) is slated to take the mound for Texas. The RHP allowed five runs over six innings in his last start, a 5-3 home defeat against the Astros on Friday. He was charged with the loss, scattering seven hits while striking out four and walking two.
Right-hander Brayan Bello (5-5, 3.08 ERA) gets the start for Boston. It’s his first appearance of the season against the Rangers. Bello made one start against the Rangers in 2022, throwing six innings in a 5-3 home win on September 3.
He gave up three hits and walked one while striking out five in the win. In his last start on Thursday, Bello took the loss at home against the Marlins. He threw seven innings and gave up one run on two hits, striking out five and walking one in the 2-0 defeat.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Texas has averaged 5.6 runs a game, a small drop compared to their season average of 5.9. Against right-handed pitchers like Bello this season, the Rangers have a .785 OPS, third highest in MLB. Leody Taveras is the team’s most productive hitter against right-handers with a .857 OPS in 188 at-bats.
Boston is averaging only 3.8 runs per game in the last five, down from 4.8 for the season, with their on-base percentage dropping to .302 from .329. The Sox have a .754 OPS against right-handers in 2023. With a .898 OPS over 212 at-bats, Alex Verdugo has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Texas is 24-17 in away games in 2023, scoring 5.5 runs per game while allowing 3.7 runs. Boston has lost four in a row at their home park. The Sox are 21-22 at home this season, averaging 5.4 runs per game while surrendering 5.2. In the last 10 games between the teams at Fenway Park, Boston is 8-2 with an average scoreline of 5.6-4.3.
The Rangers lead the AL West by three games over the Astros. The Red Sox are fifth in the AL East, 13 games behind the Rays.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Texas Rangers (-105)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.