After snatching home-field advantage with a 3-2 win on Saturday, the Texas Rangers look to take a commanding 2-0 ALDS lead over the Baltimore Orioles in Game 2 on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from Camden Yards is set for 4:07 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on FS1. Jordan Montgomery (10-11, 3.20 ERA) will look to build on his sensational Wild Card start for Texas, while the O’s turn to rookie Grayson Rodriguez (7-4, 4.35) to help them avoid a 2-0 series deficit.
Baltimore enters as -120 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Rangers at +100. The run total is set at 8.
Rangers vs. Orioles ALDS Game 2 picks: Sunday, October 8
Out: SP Max Scherzer (shoulder), SP Jon Gray (forearm), RP Jonathan Hernandez (lat)
Out: RP Felix Bautista (Tommy John)
Jordan Montgomery vs. Grayson Rodriguez
While the rest of the Rangers’ rotation was collapsing in real time — injuries to Scherzer, Gray and Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney and Martin Perez struggling for consistency — Montgomery was an absolute workhorse, closing his season with four straight quality starts and just two combined runs allowed over his last 27 innings. His 2.79 ERA with the Rangers earned him the start in Game 1 of the Wild Card series earlier this week, and the lefty shoved once again with seven shutout innings, spotting his curveball and changeup as well as he has all year. Montgomery has yet to face the Orioles this season, but he’s intimately familiar with them from his time with the Yankees, posting a 3.04 ERA in 16 appearances against Baltimore in his career.
Rodriguez entered the season as the top pitching prospect in baseball, flamed out so badly in his first taste of the Majors that he was sent back to Triple-A, then got a second chance after the All-Star break and made the absolute most of it. The Texas native posted a 2.58 ERA over his last 13 starts, including a microscopic 2.17 mark in September. Admittedly, his history against Texas isn’t great: He allowed two runs over five innings in his first career start back in April and then got tagged for nine runs (eight earned) in 3.1 innings in his last outing before getting demoted in late May. That was before he found himself again, though, and he’s looked like a totally different pitcher since reemerging from Triple-A.
We saw a 3-2 final on Saturday, and I’m backing the under again here — now the Rangers will have their best starter on the mound rather than Andrew Heaney and Dane Dunning, while Rodriguez has looked incredible for the O’s over the last two months. Both of these teams have dangerous offenses, but Texas hasn’t cleared this total in any of its three postseason games so far, and Camden Yards is a friendly place to pitch.
Pick: Under 8
I’m a big believer in what Rodriguez has shown in the second half, and I also believe that Baltimore will come out desperate in a must-win spot. At almost even odds, I’ll take the team with home-field, a slight edge on the mound and everything to lose.
Pick: Baltimore -120