Au Revoir, A-Rod
One of baseball’s most polarizing players says farewell Friday night as New York Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez plays his final game in pinstripes. He’ll go toe-to-toe with Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer, against whom he has a pair of home runs – but no other hits – in 15 all-time at-bats. Rodriguez is +450 to hit a home run in the game, and -650 to go without one.
Are the Rangers For Real?
The Texas Rangers remain one of the most enigmatic teams in baseball. They’ve won bettors a league-high 2,551 units through 116 games, yet own the worst run differential (-1) of any of the six division leaders. They come into this weekend’s three-game series with the visiting Detroit Tigers on an incredible 1-9-2 O/U run; Saturday starter, lefty Cole Hamels, is 1-4 O/U in his last five.
Reed Between the Lines
Sunday sees Cincinnati Reds starter Cody Reed return to action, which could mean a nice payday for over bettors. Reed is a whopping 7-1-1 O/U this season, with teams combining to score an average of better than 11 1/2 runs in Reed’s nine major-league starts heading into the weekend. A Brewers/Over parlay is a solid play, with the Reds having lost all nine of Reed’s starts.
WAG of the Week
Chris Sale isn’t the only one in the family bringing the heat. Sale’s wife Brianne is a former model turned full-time mother and WAG.
* Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy may not have helped boost his team above the total since arriving in Arlington, but he has been a major contributor to the team’s recent winning ways. The trade-deadline acquisition has four homers and six RBIs in eight games since joining the Rangers, who are 6-2 in those contests.
* The Houston Astros are a much better play when Jose Altuve is knocking in runs. Altuve drove in three runs in Thursday’s 15-7 triumph over the Minnesota Twins, giving bettors who chose Houston and the over plenty to celebrate. The Astros are 12-6 SU and 13-4-1 O/U in 18 games when Altuve plates multiple runs in a game.
* Bettors waiting for David Price to turn things around may be better off looking elsewhere for the rest of the season. Price has lost the third-most units of any pitcher in the majors (-$1,041), allowing opponents to hit .270 off him. He has just one victory in his last nine starts overall, with Boston going 2-7 in that span.
* On the other end of the spectrum, few pitchers have had bettors smiling more than Detroit rookie Michael Fulmer. The new Tigers ace has limited opponents to two or fewer runs in 12 of his last 14 starts, a major contributor to his second-place rank in units won ($1,369). He’ll start Sunday against host Texas.
The Toronto Blue Jays have played to the under in nine of their last 11 games and have the worst O/U record in the majors at 45-65-5. That stretch includes four straight unders earlier this month against the Houston Astros, who visit Rogers Centre for a three-game set beginning Friday night.
Friday’s Weather Report
* There is a 65 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms in the Cleveland area for Friday’s meeting between the Indians and the Los Angeles Angels. There will also be a 10-15 mph wind blowing straight out to right field. The total is currently set at 8.0.
* There will be some thunderstorms in the area around Wrigley Field on Friday evening for Game 2 between the Chicago Cubs and the rival St. Louis Cardinals. The system will bring with it a 60 percent chance of rain showers and a 5-10 mph wind blowing out to center. The total is currently OFF.
* The Atlanta Braves will be in Washington, D.C. to take on the Nationals on Friday evening and there is a 20-30 percent chance of thunder showers. There will also be a 5-10 mph wind blowing out the center field. The total is currently set at 7.5.
* There is a 40 percent chance of some thunder showers in The Bronx for Friday’s meeting between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. The total is currently set at 8.5.
* The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Boston this weekend for an interleague series against the Red Sox and they could also be up against a thunderstorm on Friday night. There is a 50 percent chance of rain and a 5-10 mph wind blowing out to right field. The total is currently set at 9.5.