The Los Angeles Dodgers will look to extend their four-game winning streak when they finish their two-game series against the Texas Rangers Wednesday night. The Dodgers won in Arlington Tuesday night 8-4. Los Angeles is now a -150 favorite to win Wednesday’s game.
The Dodgers have struggled for large stretches of August, but a three-game sweep of the Padres over the weekend has gotten them back on track. They are now one game behind both the Diamondbacks and Rockies for the top spot in the NL West. The Dodgers are also 1.5 games back in the wild-card race. After finishing up in Texas on Wednesday, the Dodgers will return home for a vital four-game series against the Diamondbacks this weekend.
The Rangers, meanwhile, appear doomed to finish last in the AL West this year. They are nearing their official elimination in the division and have lost five of their last seven games, including their last three.
Keep It Going
Wednesday’s Los Angeles starter Alex Wood is a great candidate to keep up the team’s momentum. Wood is having another fine season, going 7-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 24 starts. In his five starts since the all-star break, Wood has a 2.36 ERA, so he’s started to pitch better later in the season.
The Rangers may be challenged against Wood with a left-hand-heavy lineup. The key for Wood could be neutralizing Joey Gallo, who is a constant power threat and has a 1.126 OPS over his last five games. He’s also hit a little better against lefties than righties this season. However, the rest of the Texas lineup appears to be mired in a slump outside of switch-hitter Jurickson Profar. If Wood can keep Gallo and Profar from doing damage, this appears to be a lineup he can handle.
The Rangers will send their own lefty to the mound Wednesday night, as Mike Minor is slated to get the start. Despite the Rangers struggling this year, Minor has done all right, going 10-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 23 starts. Much like Wood, he’s been outstanding since the all-star break, going 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA over five starts. At the moment, having Minor on the mound gives the Rangers their best chance to win a game.
Of course, facing the Los Angeles lineup is no picnic, especially when they can add an extra hitter as the DH. Right-handed hitters like Justin Turner, Matt Kemp, and Enrique Hernandez have all swing the bat well lately and could pose problems for Minor. The same can be said of Brian Dozier, who’s 3 for 7 with a double in his career against Minor. Also, don’t forget about Manny Machado, who has two home runs and nine RBIs over his last 22 at-bats.
With the Grain
It’s a little tempting to take the underdog Rangers considering how well Minor has pitched recently. But Wood has pitched well recently too, and it’s not like Texas is expecting Minor to pitch nine innings. Even with concerns about the Los Angeles bullpen, look for the Dodgers to eventually slug their way to a fifth straight win. Bet on the Dodgers -150 to beat the Rangers on Wednesday night.