Wednesday MLB Rangers vs. Diamondbacks Odds, Preview, Prediction: Texas Lineup Provides Edge (Sept. 8)
Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Solak
- The Texas Rangers finish a series in the desert Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Luke Weaver will start for Arizona, while Kohei Arihara is set to toe the rubber for Texas.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup below and delivers his pick for the game.
Rangers vs. Diamondbacks Odds
|3:40 p.m. ET
|Odds via Bet Rivers. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Luke Weaver and Kohei Arihara face off in a battle of the bottom of the MLB's West divisions, as the Diamondbacks host the Rangers.
Both Weaver and Arihara pitched on Sept. 1 in their first appearances since May, and each allowed just one run for a successful return.
That said, neither should have too large of an edge over the other, so where else is there one in this game?
Arihara features seven pitches in his arsenal. He has four different fastballs: a four-seamer, sinker, cutter and splitter. This makes up over 65% of his pitch selection.
The Diamondbacks only have a .301 xwOBA against any form of a fastball, since Aug. 1, so this matchup seems less than ideal. However, in his eight games pitched, he has a hard-hit rate over 50%. If he can mix up the fastball, he may be able to negate his weakness: allowing hard contact.
Andy Ibáñez, Charlie Culberson and Nick Solak have carried this Rangers lineup since Aug. 1. They do hit the fastball moderately well for a team as low as they are in the standings. Texas' xwOBA on four-seamers is .325 in that same timeframe, and Weaver features this pitch 62% of the time.
The Rangers have a few other hitters in the lineup who have hit right-handers well, like Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jose Trevino, Nate Lowe and D.J. Peters. They will have the edge at the plate in this matchup.
The Texas bullpen does have a 3.75 combined ERA since Aug. 1, although it has a 5.32 xFIP in that same stretch. DeMarcus Evans, Brett Martin and Joe Barlow are the Rangers' best options, so their success relies on availability. Arihara pitching deep into the ballgame would be a huge boost, as well as having a comfortable lead, if Texas has to turn to its relief corps.
Weaver looks to make the Diamondbacks look a little less embarrassing for one night but as stated above, the Rangers like to hit four-seamers. He will need to throw his changeup more often to fool the Texas lineup since it has a .258 xwOBA on that pitch since the start of August.
The right-hander does not have much else besides that fastball, though, and this contributes to his average exit velocity against of 91.9%. Basically, hitters know the fastball is coming, so if Weaver cannot get it by them, they will hit it hard.
The Diamondbacks are the opposite of hot right now at the plate. They only have three hitters above the 100 wRC+ mark in August and September and also have the second-highest strikeout rate against righties in that same time at 27%. Arizona's .383 slugging percentage shows it cannot put any power together either.
Since Arihara is able to throw so many pitches, this will give them plenty of issues in the batter’s box.
In relief, Arizona has an equal xFIP and ERA for their bullpen. The only problem is they are 5.28 and 5.29. Joe Maniply, Caleb Smith and Matt Peacock are all solid options, but it pretty much ends there. Neither team has much of an advantage in the bullpen.
Texas is a slightly better team, and Arihara has enough in his pitching repertoire where he will fool the poor-hitting Diamondbacks. Since the Rangers can feast on four-seam fastballs from time to time, they are the team to take here.
Grab the alternate run line at -1 (-115) and play to -135.
Pick: Rangers -1 (-115, play to -135)