Texas (53-32) at Boston (45-38)
When: Wednesday, July 6th 2016
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Time: 7:10 ET | TV: ESPN
The American League leading Texas Rangers look to win a series in Fenway Park on Wednesday when they play the rubber-match of their three-game set with the Boston Red Sox. Texas improved to 53-32 last night with a 7-2 win over Boston, but only send two players to the All-Star Game while the Red Sox will send at least six. Tonight’s starter Steven Wright, closer Craig Kimbrel, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., right fielder Mookie Betts, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and designated hitter David Ortiz were all named to the American League All-Star team on Tuesday while second baseman Dustin Pedroia is among five players eligible for the final spot. Pedroia, Bogaerts, Betts, Bradley and Ortiz combined to go 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday and Kimbrel surrendered four runs in the ninth inning. Kimbrel now has an ERA of 6.75 in non-save situations and 1.45 in save opportunities. Texas will send left-hander Cole Hamels and outfielder Ian Desmond to the mid-summer classic, while RF Shin-Soo Choo is the one acting like an All-Star of late. Choo homered against last night for the third time in four games, but the win early with stiffness in his lower back.
Pitchers: Rangers – Martin Perez (7-4, 3.39 ERA) | Red Sox – Steven Wright (9-5, 2.42)
Martin Perez has put together two solid outings in a row including a six-inning, one-run effort in a win over Boston on June 26th. He has not lost since May 18th and earned a quality start in each of the last two outings. Perez has allowed a total of three runs in 13 innings over his last two starts. The Venezuelan has allowed eight walks and four home runs in his last three outings, however.
Wright is second in the A.L. in ERA, but he has been roughed up the last two turns. He surrendered eight runs (3 earned) in a 10-3 loss at Texas on June 25th and allowed eight hits and four runs against Anaheim last time out, but managed to get the win. Wright will be making his first All-Star appearance next week in San Diego.
Perez is not only pitching better than Wright recently, but Perez shut down Boston and Wright was scorched by Texas less than two weeks ago. I will take +165 on the best record in the league every time.
Pick: Rangers +165