MLB – Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles 

Orioles vs Texas RangersTexas Rangers vs OriolesTexas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles to wrap up a three game series on Thursday

The Texas Rangers finish off a three game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night. Both teams need the win as they hold shrinking leads in their respective divisions. The ballgame between the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles will take place on Thursday, August 4, 2016, at 7:05 p.m. ET at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The ballgame will be broadcast on FOX Sports Southwest and MASN.

The Texas Rangers have been just average since the All-Star break, and are barely over .500 on the road. The Texas Rangers will be sending the 28-year old right-hander A.J. Griffin to the mound for this ballgame. Griffin has been healthy and has a 4-1 record with a 3.99 ERA in his 13 starts. He missed the  last two seasons due to serious elbow issues, but he has recovered well. He is giving up just 7.6 hits per nine innings and 10 home runs in 67 2/3 innings. He is also giving up 3.7 walks per nine innings. The most innings he has thrown has been five and two-thirds, so the rangers will need its bullpen to cover the rest of the ballgame. The Texas bullpen has the worst ERA in the American League which may be an issue.

The Baltimore Orioles is the best baseball team at home with a 37-16 record. On the road the Orioles are seven games under-.500. The Orioles have plenty of batting power as they have 154 home runs, which leads all of baseball. The Baltimore Orioles weakness comes in the form of starting pitching. The Orioles will probably start pitcher Wade Miley on Thursday. Miley has a 7-8 record with a 4.98 ERA. He has been allowing to many home runs at 1.4 per nine innings. He has pitched better as of late, giving up six runs in his last three games. The Orioles will back him up, because they have the best bullpen in the American League with a 3.06 ERA. Best Sports Site Blog gives the edge to Baltimore because they are good at home and the Rangers are just mediocre on the road.

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MLB: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays Game 5 ALDS

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MLB: Blue Jays can Advance to ALCS with Win at Home

Stroman, Hamels Reunite for ALDS Game 5

The Blue Jays return home to Toronto and will have the home town fans behind them for this must-win Game 5. They lost the first two games of the ALDS at home, but the Toronto Blue Jays went to Arlington and evened their series with the Texas Rangers at two games apiece. The Blue Jays return to the former SkyDome for Wednesday’s Game 5 at 4:07 PM ET to see who advances to the Championship Series.

It’ll be the same two starting pitchers from Game 2 in Toronto, which the Rangers won 6-4. Marcus Stroman (3.54 FIP) will take the mound for the Blue Jays, and Cole Hamels (3.47 FIP) will pitch for the Rangers.

It took some creative managing to put the Jays in this position. David Price (2.78 FIP) seems to struggle against the Rangers, who have a combined .739 OPS versus the Cy Young-winning lefty. As a result, Toronto used Price in a relief role on Wednesday, starting RA Dickey in an 8-4 win.

That sets up future ace Marcus Stroman (3.54 FIP) to start Game 5 at home. Since returning from an ACL, he has won all four starts in the regular season with an ERA of 1.67 as the Blue Jays rolled to the AL East crown. The Jays won all four of those starts before losing 6-4 in Game 2 as home favorites. The winner that day, Cole Hamels (3.47 FIP), is expected to start Game 5. Texas was 10-2 behind Hamels during the regular season for 7.60 units in earnings.

Cole Hamels was brought from Philadelphia for games like this, which will be his 15th appearance in the postseason. The 31-year-old southpaw has a World Series MVP and an NLCS MVP in his back pocket from 2008. Toronto’s 24-year-old hurler Marcus Stroman held his own with Hamels in Game 2. The Blue Jays have so much confidence in Stroman that they brought David Price out of the bullpen in  Game 4 to win in Texas. It’ll be important for the Rangers to get on the board early to have a chance as they’ll need to take the fans out of the game.

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MLB: Rangers, Blue Jays Go Head-to-Head in Texas

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MLB: Price Leads Blue Jays to Duel Lewis in Texas

Two wild card hopefuls will meet Wednesday in Arlington. Wednesday’s pitchers will have their hands full trying to block two great offenses when Toronto and Texas finish their three-game set on Wednesday in Arlington. The rise of the Toronto Blue Jays has arguably been the biggest story in the majors since the All-Star break. Their acquisition of David Price from Detroit is a huge part of their ascent. The red-hot Toronto Blue Jays will go with David Price on the mound, and he has been a beast since coming from Detroit at the trade deadline. He’s allowed just six earned runs in 30.1 innings of work.  The Blue Jays wrap up a three-game set in Texas.

Price has been lights out for the Jays, going 3-0 in four starts with a 1.78 ERA since coming to Toronto. Overall in 2015, he has improved his game on the road. Between Detroit and Toronto, the 2012 Cy Young winner is 8-2 in 13 away starts with a 1.96 ERA.

The Rangers will give the ball to Colby Lewis, who has been the recipient of excellent run support while picking up 14 wins along the way this season. He has allowed just one run in his last two starts, which spans 13.0 innings of work. The Rangers are battling to hold on to the second AL wild card spot, with Toronto in firm control of the first. Lewis is quietly putting together a solid season with a 14-5 record despite a 4.29 ERA. There are only two pitchers in the AL that get better run support than Lewis (6.04 RS), and they’re both from Toronto: Drew Hutchinson (6.71 RS) and Mark Buerhle (6.29 RS). Still, Lewis has allowed just one earned run in his last two starts.

While the story in this series should be offense, as both teams are ranked in the top six in MLB in runs scored, both pitchers have been excellent as of late. With 17 wins between them, Price and Lewis should be up to the task.

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