After suffering a brutal weekend sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Guardians, the Texas Rangers (82-67) start a cruical three-game series with the Boston Red Sox (74-76) on Monday. The Rangers, who hold a one-game lead on the Mariners in the Wild Card race, will send Jordan Montgomery (9-11, 3.47 ERA) to the mound against Boston righty Kutter Crawford (6-7, 4.26). First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m.
The Rangers are -162 moneyline underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Red Sox are +136 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5
Red Sox-Rangers picks: Monday, September 18
Out: 1B Triston Casas (right shoulder)
Out: OF Adolis Garcia (right patellar tendon strain), SP Max Scherzer (right teres major strain)
Kutter Crawford vs. Jordan Montgomery
The good news for Crawford is that he’s coming off a start in which he recorded seven strikeouts against the Yankees. The bad news that he only managed to go 4.2 innings due to a high pitch count, marking the third straight start in which he failed to get to the fifth inning. He’s made one start against the Rangers this season, allowing three runs in four innings of work.
Montgomery will be taking the hill for the ninth time since the Rangers acquired him at the Trade Deadline; he’s posted a 3.59 ERA in 47.2 innings with Texas. He tossed seven shutout innings against the Blue Jays in his last start, marking the second scoreless outing he’s had as a member of the Rangers. The longtime Yankee has a 3.95 ERA in 70.2 career innings against the Red Sox.
After scoring at least six runs in all four of their games against the Blue Jays last week, the Rangers mustered six runs total in their three games against Cleveland. I’m betting on the Rangers team that faced Toronto to show up, which will lead to runs aplenty. The Red Sox offense has been in a bit of a slump as well, but I think they’ll be able to tally a couple runs against a starter they have a lot of familiarity with.
Pick: Over 8.5
With Montgomery on the mound (he’s quietly been the team’s best starter over the past month) and rookie Josh Jung is making his return from the injured list, I’m betting the Rangers will be able to hold serve in the Wild Card race.
Pick: Rangers -162