Texas (42-25) at St Louis (35-30)
When: Friday, June 17th 2016
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: FSN Southwest, FSN Midwest
The St. Louis Cardinals continue their five-game homestand with a weekend set against the red-hot Texas Rangers on Friday night. The Cardinals slugged their way to a successful 5-1 road trip before returning home to only score three runs in their last two games – losses to Houston. Yadier Molina recorded his third three-hit performance in six games and scored the Cardinals’ lone run in a 4-1 loss to the Astros on Wednesday. Molina has struggled in five meetings with American League West-leading Texas, going 2-for-19 in his career. The Rangers have extended their lead in the division to 6.5 games by winning their last three and five of six overall. Texas, who is 18-15 on the road, is on the last leg of their 10-game road trip and have hit 11 homeruns in their last four games. Texas 3B Adrian Beltre, who had two singles and a double on Thursday, has hit safely in four straight games and 12 of his last 14 overall. St. Louis, who has the second-best road record in the majors (20-12) are just 15-18 at home.
Pitchers: Rangers – Cole Hamels (6-1, 3.14 ERA) | Cardinals – Michael Wacha (2-6, 4.91)
Cole Hamels will make his 14th start this season and has been incredible on the road posting a 4-0, 1.94 ERA mark. The former National-Leaguer continued that success on Sunday after allowing one run on four hits in seven innings of a 6-4 triumph versus Seattle. Hamels’ lone blemish was a blast by Leonys Martin, which served as his 11th homer surrendered in his last seven games after yielding four in his previous six contests. Hamels has pitched seven innings in three consecutive starts.
Michael Wacha’s winless stretch extended to nine starts on Friday as he settled for his second straight no-decision despite allowing two runs on three hits in seven innings versus Pittsburgh. Wacha has been hammered at home allowing 24 earned runs in 39 innings and posting a 1-3 record. He has lost a career-worst six consecutive decisions since April 28th and has allowed at least four runs on five occasions during his winless stretch.
Texas is really hot right now and the Cardinals have struggled at home this season. Hamels easily has the advantage in this pitching matchup and the Rangers are simply better than the Cardinals. I’ll take Texas tonight.
Pick: Rangers -105