The Texas Rangers take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a three-game series on Monday, May 22. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. ET from PNC Park. Dane Dunning (4-0, 1.69 ERA) will take the mound for the Rangers, and Luis Ortiz (0-2, 5.63 ERA) will pitch for the Pirates.
Texas is a -140 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Pittsburgh coming in at +120. The total is set at 9.
Rangers-Pirates picks: Monday, May 22
Out: SP Jacob DeGrom (elbow), OF Travis Jankowski (hamstring), C Mitch Garver (knee)
Out: SP Vince Velasquez (elbow), SS Oneil Cruz (ankle), 1B Ji Man Choi (Achilles)
Dane Dunning vs. Luis Ortiz
Dunning is having himself a season. He didn’t start all of April, serving as a reliever, but has started three games in May since deGrom went down and has easily translated his skills to five- and six-inning starts. He has allowed just three runs over 17 innings as a starter, walking two and striking out 12 in his three appearances.
One of Pittsburgh’s top prospects, Ortiz has started twice since getting called up earlier this month and has struggled with his command, walking five and striking out four over eight innings pitched. He has allowed five earned runs over those two starts and lasted just three innings in his latest outing.
The Rangers should be able to drive up the score here. They lead the league in runs per game, and as they go up against Ortiz, I like their chances for a run-heavy performance. However, Pittsburgh’s offense floats right around the middle of the road and will face a tough challenge in Dunning. I’m going with the under on this one.
Pick: Under 9
The Rangers do well on the road and have the highest-scoring offense in MLB right now. With Dunning on the mound easily settling into his starting position, this should be a walk in the park for the Rangers. Ortiz will get lit up by the Texas lineup.