The Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians square off in the middle contest of a three-game series at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, so here’s the best betting pick for this American League showdown.
Texas meets Cleveland for the first time in 2021, and the Rangers were listed at +158 for the opener that has been excluded from the analysis. The visitors sit at +152 for Wednesday’s clash on BetUs Sportsbook, while the Indians are -165 home favorites with a total of 9.0 runs.
The Rangers nearly upset the Sox twice
The Texas Rangers entered this set with an awful 43-81 record, coming off a 2-1 series defeat at Boston. The Strangers thrashed off the Sox in the middle contest, 10-1, following a 6-0 loss in the opener, but they failed to pull off another upset in the closing game at Fenway Park and suffered an 8-4 defeat in 11 innings.
Texas has dropped five of its last six games and 14 of its previous 18 at any location. Over the last couple of weeks, the Rangers have recorded the fifth-worst OPS in baseball (.653) while drawing only 16 walks through 12 games in the process.
On the pitching side of things, the Rangers have compiled a mediocre 4.12 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and a .246 batting average against. Spencer Howard will get the nod Wednesday, and he’s tossed just 7.1 frames across three starts with the Rangers since the trade deadline. The 25-year-old righty is 0-3 with a poor 6.56 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in ten starts and four relief appearances this season (previously with the Phillies).
The Indians hover around .500
The Cleveland Indians are trying their best to play winning baseball. They improved to 61-61 on the season following a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in the 2021 MLB Little League Classic this past Sunday, extending their winning streak to three games as well. The Indians have won six of their past nine, but they were still eight games behind the bottom wild card on Tuesday.
Cleveland has recorded a 4.01 ERA in the last couple of weeks despite a nice .216 batting average against and a 1.18 WHIP. Zach Plesac will toe the slab Wednesday against Texas, and the 26-year-old righty hasn’t been at his best lately.
Over his first four starts in August, Plesac has registered a terrible 7.17 ERA across 21.1 innings of work while allowing a .822 OPS to his opponents. He’s 7-4 in 18 starts this season (101.2 innings pitched), sporting a 4.87 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 69/21 K/BB ratio.
- 4-14 in the last 18 games overall
- 2-17 in the last 19 games on the road
- 14-6 in the last 20 games against Texas
- 4-1 in the last five games overall
Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Indians Pick
The Indians are a better offensive team in this matchup which should be a decisive factor. They’ve scored 24 runs over their last four games while posting a .898 OPS, so the Indians should have enough firepower to outlast the hapless Rangers.
Cleveland also has a slight advantage on the mound, although Zach Plesac is far away from his top form. Spencer Howard, on the other side, won’t take the distance, for sure, and the Rangers bullpen has a 3.57 ERA and 4.78 FIP in the last ten days of action. The Indians bullpen has recorded a 2.35 ERA and 4.38 FIP in that span.
Pick: Take Cleveland Indians at -165
The Rangers have been awful at the plate all season. They own the second-lowest scoring in the majors (3.78 runs per game), and I’ve already mentioned their recent slump. The Rangers dropped ten runs on the Sawx last Monday, but they’ve also surpassed a three-run line just six times in their last 18 outings.
Four of the Indians’ last six home games went in the under. Their pitching staff will be a key factor when it comes to the totals, and the Indians could easily shut down the Rangers if Zach Plesac finally put on a solid performance.
Pick: Go over 9.0 runs at -110