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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers - 4/4/14

Texas Rangers (2-1) at Tampa Bay Rays (1-2)

MLB Baseball: Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm (Tropicana Field)

Joe Saunders (L) (0-0) (0.00) vs. Jake Odorizzi (R) (0-0) (0.00)

The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -134 / Texas Rangers +124 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: TXA-21, Sun Sports

The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays will begin a three-game series on Friday night. The Rangers took two of three away from the Philadelphia Phillies, while the Rays split a four-game series against the Toronto Bluejays.

The Rangers offense has been as good as advertised to begin the season, coming up with 17 runs and 33 hits in the first three games. However, the Rangers pitching needs to improve, as Texas has allowed 18 earned runs in just 27 innings pitched. Joe Saunders will make his Rangers debut, as he finished last season with an 11-16 record and an ERA of 5.26. Saunders pitched last season for the Seattle Mariners and is 0-3 with an 8.40 ERA in his career against the Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers - 4/4/14


The Rays pitching held the Bluejays to 3 or less runs in three of the four games played to begin the season. The batting order was hit or miss, but Matt Joyce, Evan Logoria and Desmond Jennings came away with a combined 16 hits in the series. Jake Odorizzi will make just his seventh career start, as he pitched in just seven games last year, allowing 13 runs in 29.2 innings pitched. Odorizzi is a strikeout pitcher who has 26 strikeouts in just 37 career innings. 

The Rangers are 0-4 in their last 4 games following an off day and 6-0 in their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Rays are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a home favorite and 7-1 in their last 8 during game 1 of a series. 

Saunders has had terrible luck against the Rays in his career, while Odorizzi has great potential and the kind of stuff that could give the Rangers problems. Both teams have been playing well out of the gate, but I'll take the Rays at home for the cheap price. 

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