Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers Preview and Pick – Galarraga vs. Padilla

Detroit Tigers (61-64) -120, 11 at Texas Rangers (62-64), 8 pm Eastern Tuesday
by Zman of

Two teams struggling to stay relevant in the American League playoff races meet when the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers play game 2 of a three-game series Tuesday night in Arlington.

Baseball bookmakers are listing Detroit and starting pitcher Armando Galarraga (11-4, 3.10, 1.15 WHIP) as 120 road chalk for Tuesday’s game, with a total of 11, while Texas and Vicente Padilla (12-6, 4.85, 1.48) are getting +110 as home underdogs.

The Tigers took the first game of this series Monday night 8-7, handing the Rangers their 10th loss in their last 12 games.

So going into Tuesday’s play, Detroit is in third place in the AL Central, 10 1/2 games back of the first-place Chicago White Sox, while Texas is in second place in the AL West, 15 1/2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Angels.

The Tigers are also 11 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL wild-card race, while the Rangers are 10 1/2 games out.

Detroit is 28-36 on the road this year, and 60-65 vs. the run line.

Texas is 32-29 at home this season, and 65-61 vs. the run line.

The Tigers have taken all four games from the Rangers so far this season, with the totals going 3-1, as the games have averaged a robust 15.5 total runs per.

Over his last three starts, including a solid showing in a win over Toronto last Wednesday, Galarraga has allowed four ER and 22 baserunners (hits + walks) in 20 2/3 IP. Detroit is 15-6 in Galarraga’s starts this year, the totals 9-11.

Galarraga has never started a ML game vs. Texas, which is the team he made his ML debut for last fall.

Over his last three starts, including a lousy performance vs. Baltimore 10 days ago, Padilla has given up 13 ER and 39 BR in 17 IP. Texas is 17-6 in Padilla’s starts this year, the totals 15-8.

And Padilla had this start moved back from the weekend because of a sore neck.

Padilla has started twice vs. the Tigers over the last two seasons, allowing seven ER and 15 BR in nine IP. The Rangers split those two games, with the totals going 2-0.

Offensively, Detroit ranks 6th in the majors this season in team BA at .275, 6th in team OBP at .344, 5th in team slugging at .443, and is averaging 5.1 runs per game.

Texas ranks 3rd in batting at .280, 3rd in OBP at .351, 1st in slugging at .456, and is averaging a league-best 5.6 RPG. But the Rangers offense hit the skids recently, scoring just 11 runs over a 1-5 stretch last week.

Over the last five games, the Detroit bullpen, thanks to a disastrous outing vs. the Orioles Sunday, has allowed 15 ER and 39 BR in 18 1/3 IP.

Over its’ last five games, the Texas pen has given up three ER and 27 BR in 19 2/3 IP.

On the injury/personnel front, Texas 2B Ian Kinsler (.319/18/71 this year) is dealing with a sports hernia, and is on the DL, maybe for the rest of the season.

The totals are 60-58 in Tigers games this year, 68-52 in Rangers games, and 32-26 in games played at The Ballpark, which are averaging 12.1 total runs this season, most among all ML stadiums.

Zman’s Pick: Take the Tigers at -120.