Sunday Night Baseball features the finale of a three-game interleague series between the Philadelphia Phillies (0-2) and the Texas Rangers (2-0). The Rangers will host this one at Globe Life Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:08 pm ET.
The Rangers are the favorites in this one playing at home. They are -120 to win, while the Phillies’ moneyline sits at +102. The runline features Philadelphia at +1.5 (-196), and the over/under for total runs is nine.
World Series Hangover For Phillies?
After making it to the World Series last season, there are big expectations for the Phillies this season. It appears they are trying to shake a World Series hangover, though, as they have been outscored 27 – 10 in the first two games this year against the Rangers.
On Saturday, they were obliterated 16-3 by Texas. Starter Zack Wheeler gave up five runs (four earned) over 4.1 innings. The bullpen followed, giving up 11 over the next 3.2 innings.
Offensively, new shortstop Trea Turner went two for five with a run scored, while Nick Castellanos and Darick Hall combined for four hits between the two.
On Sunday, the Phillies will send lefty starter Bailey Falter to the mound. The 25-year-old went 6-4 in 20 games last season with a 3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and had 74 strikeouts in 84 innings.
Keep an eye out for Alec Bohm and Castellanos in this one. Against Rangers’ starter Martin Perez, Bohm is hitting .538 in 13 at-bats with a home run and five runs batted in. For Castellanos, he is hitting .400 in 15 at-bats with a home run and four runs batted in.
Rangers Trying To Prove They Can Compete This Season
After finishing 68-94, 38 games back of the Astros in their division, the Rangers have been an afterthought in the AL West. At +1000, they currently have just the fourth-best odds of winning the division. They are trying to prove they can be a contender this year, and a sweep of the Phillies to start the year would be a good start.
On the mound for Texas will be lefty Martin Perez. In 32 games last year, he went 12-8 with a 2.89 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 169 strikeouts in 196.1 innings.
Offensively, the Rangers are getting production throughout the lineup early on. Seven players have two or more runs batted in through two games, and Mitch Garver (2), Robbie Grossman, Brad Miller, and Marcus Semien have all homered already.
Grossman is the only Rangers player who has faced Falter in his career. In four at-bats, he has one hit and one run batted in.
Take The Rangers Straight Up
This one is all about momentum. The Rangers are off to a hot start, while the Phillies look lost in almost all facets of the game. Even their two aces, Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler, have given up a combined ten runs over the first two games.
Now relying on Bailey Falter to try to salvage the finale might be a tall task for the 25-year-old, especially in primetime. After all, Martin Perez was one of the most consistent, if not underrated, pitchers last season, and the Rangers’ offense appears to be clicking early.
Take Texas to win straight up in this one at -120.