Saturday night features an interleague battle of West teams as the Texas Rangers (2-4) travel to Oracle Park to take on the San Francisco Giants (4-4). First pitch for this one is scheduled for 9:10 pm ET.
The Giants took the first game of the series 9-2. The Giants got a big offensive night out of Wilmer Flores, who homered and had three home runs. Their 7 through 9 hitters combined for six hits, meaning they got production up and down the lineup.
On paper, the Giants seem to have a rebuilding lineup, but they have been scrappy early on, splitting a four-game series with the Dodgers and showing signs of life including Friday night’s win.
For the Rangers, they have certainly struggled early on. At 2-4, they sit in fourth in the AL West. They also have had some health issues early as they have lost both closer Jose Leclerc and starting pitcher Corey Kluber.
Fans that were optimistic the Rangers could compete in the division going into the season all of a sudden have some major concerns.
In terms of the pitching matchup for Saturday, the Rangers are sending out Jordan Lyles to take the mound against the Giants’ Drew Smyly.
The moneyline is currently set at -125 for the Texas Rangers and +106 for the San Francisco Giants. The over/under for total runs scored is set at 8.5.
Rangers Looking For Spark
It has been a rough start to the season for the Rangers thus far, and they will look to Jordan Lyles to get them back on track Saturday. Lyles was skipped in his first time through the rotation due to off days, but he has gotten one appearance in relief, going two innings and not allowing a run and striking out two.
Last season, with the Pirates and Brewers, Lyles went 12-8 with a 4.15 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and struck out 146 in 141 innings. He is looking to build off of that solid campaign this year with the Rangers.
Offensively, the Rangers have just fallen pretty flat thus far. Through six games, slugging rightfielder Joey Gallo is just 5 for 22 with two home runs and five runs batted in.
Unfortunately for Rangers fans, there just haven’t been too many others producing. Todd Frazier, Shin-Soo Choo and Rougned Odor have one home run each, but that has been about it.
Giants Trying To Keep Afloat in NL West
While the San Francisco Giants don’t necessarily have a lot of star power on their everyday lineup, they have had a couple of players really produce. Centerfielder Mike Yastrzemski has been sensational thus far this season.
He is hitting .414/.528/.793 in 29 at-bats with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. He has also walked (seven) almost as many times as he has struck out (eight).
Darin Ruf has also been solid. The Giants’ first baseman has gone 5 for 13 with five runs batted in.
Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford have had some success against Lyles in their careers. Belt is hitting .375 in eight at-bats against the righty while Crawford is hitting .364 in 11 at-bats.
The Giants will turn to Drew Smyly to take the ball on Saturday. Thus far this season, Smyly has two appearances (one start).
In that time, he has gone 4 1/3 innings with a 2.08 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and has struck out four. The Giants hope that he can give them some quality innings as they look to take the first two from Texas.
Taking The Giants As Underdog
It isn’t too often that a team that is 2-4 is seen as the favorite, but that is what the current matchup dictates between the Rangers and Giants. While the Giants may be streaky, I will take that and the better moneyline against a team that just seems incredibly flat in Texas. For my money, I am taking the Giants at +106.