Rangers Head North
The Texas Rangers are on a roll, and they're hoping a long road trip won't slow them down.
They kick off a 10-game trip Monday when they face the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Minntesota -113 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 82% of bets for this game have been placed on Minnesota -113 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
The Rangers (22-23) lost 5-4 to Houston on Sunday, ending a 6-3 homestand. Despite the defeat, Texas took two of three from Houston and has won seven straight series for the first time since 1999.
The first of those series wins came April 25-27, when the Rangers won two of three at home against the Twins. Texas won a franchise-record eight straight series in 1977.
"We're playing good baseball and that's all you want to do," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not easy to sweep someone."
Sunday's loss came a day after the Rangers beat the Astros 6-2 to return to .500 for the first time since they were 5-5 on April 11. Texas, second in the AL with 226 runs, outscored Houston 26-15 during the three-game series, pounding out 39 hits.
"We just need to keep winning series," outfielder David Murphy told the Rangers' official Web site after homering Sunday. "There's no reason why we shouldn't have a good outlook going on this trip."
The Rangers are 10-12 on the road, and have won five of seven away from home after dropping seven straight. However, they've lost four in a row in Minnesota, including a three-game sweep Sept. 17-19 in their last series at the Metrodome.
Texas' trip also includes three games in Cleveland and three at Tampa Bay.
The Twins (21-22) dropped two of three at Colorado over the weekend, including Sunday's 6-2 defeat. Minnesota, which suffered a three-game home sweep to Toronto before its set with the Rockies, committed three errors and gave up five walks.
"A disappointing baseball game," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Walking guys in big situations, dropping throws to first base. I don't know how you prepare for all of those things. We're not used to seeing it. It's embarrassing to this organization. All I can hope for is that we have a little performance when we get home."
Outfielder Carlos Gomez sat out his second straight game with an injured right wrist, and Gardenhire said that it if becomes clear he will miss several more days, he could end up on the disabled list.
Gardenhire will hand the ball to struggling Boof Bonser (2-5, 5.37 ERA) to start the series opener.
Bonser gave up five runs, including a first-inning grand slam, in six innings of Wednesday's 6-5 loss to Toronto. He fell to 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in his last three starts, including a May 4 outing against Detroit in which he allowed six first-inning runs.
"He's been giving up a lot of runs early," Gardenhire told the Twins' site. "He hangs in to pitch OK, but he can't continue like that. He has to figure it out from the start."
Bonser has struggled against the Rangers in his career, going 1-2 with a 7.24 ERA in three starts.
Texas counters with Scott Feldman (1-1, 3.45), who gave up three runs - one earned - in seven innings of the Rangers' 4-3, 12-inning loss to Seattle on Wednesday. Feldman, in his first season as a starter, is 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA over his last three starts.
In six career relief appearances against the Twins, Feldman has a 5.79 ERA. He allowed four runs in two innings of the Rangers' 12-6 loss to the Twins on April 26. Bet this game.
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