After getting swept by the Padres and a day off, the Texas Rangers are back in action tonight as they are set to host the White Sox for a three-game series. Texas has been heavily involved in the trade deadline, but they are still 3-7 over their last ten games and need to find the win column. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my two prop plays centered around Rangers starter Andrew Heaney.
While one team in this matchup is in buying mode at the deadline, the White Sox are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Chicago has already dealt multiple arms over the past few days, and their sell-off may not yet be completed. Amid the trades, the White Sox were able to win a series over the weekend against the Guardians but could not complete the sweep on Sunday by falling 5-0.
With Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn out of the picture, the White Sox will rely on their bullpen tonight, with Jesse Scholtens getting the start. Out of 16 appearances, Scholtens has made two starts up to this point, most recently on July 6th, when we threw four innings and allowed three earned runs to the Blue Jays. In total, this season, the right-hander has racked up 38 innings and has pitched to a 3.32 ERA.
The Rangers lineup that Scholtens will face tonight is coming off one of their worst three-game stretches of the season. While getting swept by the Padres, the Rangers would score just four total runs across the three games, culminating with a 5-3 loss on Sunday. Texas would strike out 13 times and leave 25 runners on base in the game, so it’s safe to say yesterday’s off day provided a much-needed reset for the offense.
In desperate need of a win, the Rangers will have left-hander Andrew Heaney on the mound for his 21st start of the year. Heaney allowed three earned runs over five innings in his most recent outing, which raised his ERA to 4.62 over 101.3 innings of work. Command is one thing to look for tonight with the left-hander, as he has issued six walks combined in his last two outings and is walking an average of 2.2 hitters per game over his last ten starts.
With how much the Rangers have struggled as of late and the fact that they are competing with the Angels and Astros for the division, having Andrew Heaney on the mound at home is not ideal. For that reason, my first prop play of the day is Heaney to allow more than 2.5 earned runs which is priced at (-110). The lefty is allowing an average of 2.9 earned runs per game over his last ten starts and has allowed three or more earned runs in six of those games.
Heaney has struggled at his home ballpark this season and enters tonight with a 5.08 FIP at home and a .261 batting average against. The lefty now has to take on a White Sox offense that ranks 4th in wRC+ and 3rd in wOBA and OPS against left-handed pitching on the road over the last month.
Chicago’s success against lefties in this spot also brings me to my second prop play which is Heaney to go under 5.5 strikeouts at (+100). The White Sox have the 7th lowest strikeout percentage in this split over the last month, and Heaney has gone under this total in eight of his last ten outings. Heaney’s strikeout percentage has also decreased every month and is at 15.2% in the second half of the season.
Andrew Heaney Over 2.5 Earned Runs Allowed (-110)
Andrew Heaney Under 5.5 K’s (+100)