There are plenty of great storylines in the MLB amid the postseason push, but one of the best has to be the race for the AL West crown. The three-team race currently has the Astros leading the Rangers by 1.5 games, with Texas set to begin a three-game series with the Red Sox. We’ll preview the series’ opening game before going over which prop market I’ll be targeting.
Heading into the weekend, the Rangers looked ready to regain control of their division after sweeping the Blue Jays in Toronto. However, instead of capatilizing on that momentum, the Rangers went into Cleveland and got swept by a Guardians team that could be eliminated from the postseason chase by the end of the week.
Texas scored six or more runs in their four-game series against Toronto but failed to score more than three in Cleveland as the series culminated yesterday with a 9-2 loss. Rangers starter Cody Bradford got lit up for six earned runs in three innings, which put the offense at a significant disadvantage.
Now back in their home ballpark, the Rangers will send lefty Jordan Montgomery to the mound, as he is coming off a seven-shutout inning performance against the Blue Jays. After allowing a combined 11 earned runs in his previous two outings, that was the exact outing Montogmery and the Rangers needed.
The lefties' outing tonight comes against a Red Sox team that has entirely fallen apart down the stretch. Currently sitting in last place in the AL East, the Red Sox are 2-8 over their last ten games and are fresh off a series over the weekend in which the Blue Jays swept them. In their 3-2 loss yesterday, Boston left a whopping 29 runners on base and would lose on a walk-off triple by Matt Chapman.
As their roadstand continues tonight, the Red Sox will have right-hander Kutter Crawford on the bump for his 21st start. Despite picking up seven strikeouts in his most recent outing, Crawford would still get a no-decision after working 4.2 innings and allowing one earned run. With that outing, Crawford is now pitching to a 4.26 ERA in 112 innings of work.
Jordan Montgomery’s outs recorded total is currently set at 15.5, and I’ll be taking the over, which is priced at (+111). Over his last ten starts, Montgomery is averaging 17.9 outs per game and has only gone under tonight’s total in one of those ten outings. The lefty has made eight starts in a Rangers uniform, and the only start manager Bruce Bochy didn’t let him work into the sixth inning was one in which he allowed six earned runs.
Not only is Montgomery fresh off a phenomenal outing against the Blue Jays, but tonight, he will face a Red Sox lineup that has struggled to challenge opposing starters as of late. Over the past month, Boston is hitting .241 and ranks 19th in OPS and wOBA and 17th in wRC+ against left-handed pitching on the road.
The Rangers starter is not a good matchup for this Boston lineup since he is in the 61st percentile in hard hit percentage and 53rd percentile in barrel percentage. Montgomery is also in the 80th percentile in walk percentage and has a 64.9% first-pitch strike percentage, so he should be able to keep his pitch count down and remain around his average of 15.4 pitches per inning. Overall, Texas needs a big outing, and I think Montgomery can deliver one.
Jordan Montgomery Over 15.5 Outs (+111)