The Texas Rangers have the lead in the American League West behind the league’s top offense and will look to push their league-leading run differential even further at home on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers (-140, 9)
Command has been an issue for Jack Flaherty, who gets the start for the Cardinals on Wednesday and has a 4.55 ERA with five walks and 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Flaherty has to face a lineup that has all but two of the nine starters hitting at least .283 and the team is averaging over seven runs per game at home with a .361 on-base percentage.
The offense will need to be at full force for the Rangers on Wednesday as regression could be coming the way of starter Jon Gray, who has a 2.51 ERA and a 6-1 record, but concerning underlying numbers.
Gray’s fielding independent is nearly two points higher than his ERA at 4.43 with his strikeouts per nine innings rate the second-lowest of his career at 7.1 while his opponents’ batting average on balls in play is .231, which is significantly lower than his career-best .271 from a season ago.
The Cardinals’ offense has been quite volatile this season, as they entered Tuesday having scored four runs or fewer in 10 of their last 11 games, but entered the night fourth in the National League with 4.7 runs per game and tied for fifth in home runs per game.
The Cardinals also get to face a Rangers bullpen that has struggled this season, ranking 24th in ERA and the past 30 days, and a 5.38 ERA over the past 30 days, which ranks 27th among the 30 MLB bullpens.
With Jack Flaherty’s lack of command combined with the league’s top offense being backed by one of the league’s worst bullpens, the saying everything is bigger in Texas will ring true on Wednesday, in this case referring to the number of runs scored.
The Play: Cardinals vs. Rangers Over 9