Josh Hamilton Plays First Home Game Back With Rangers Thursday Vs. Red Sox
Bit of a light schedule on Thursday around baseball and only one game has a total above eight on the board: the series opener in Arlington between struggling Boston and surging Texas. The total is set at 9 with the Rangers -113 favorites behind surprising ace Nick Martinez.
The Red Some come in off a sweep in Minnesota and are a shocking last in the American League East with a 21-26 record. Brock Holt got the start in right field in place of the injured Rusney Castillo and went 2-for-4 in the loss. Castillo injured his right shoulder after a highlight-reel catch in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s loss and is day-to-day.
Boston signed the 27-year-old Cuban to a seven-year deal last August. Since being called up from the minors, Castillo has played in four games with the Red Sox this season. He hit .333 with a pair of homers and a half-dozen RBIs last season. Manager Farrell said he doesn’t see this as a long-term ailment for Castillo, though he said if it lingers for a few day, the team won’t hesitate to get it checked out.
That marked only the second time this season Boston has been swept in a three-game series. It’s assumed Farrell will continue to mix up his lineups until he finds something that works. He recently tried dropping David Ortiz from No. 3 to No. 5 in the lineup.
Boston will start one of its top pitching prospects on Thursday in 22-year-old left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who was acquired from Baltimore in last summer’s trade of Andrew Miller to the Orioles. Rodriguez has showed good stuff in his time at Triple-A Pawtucket this season. He’s currently 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA to go along with 44 strikeouts to just seven walks. It’s expected to be just a spot start and Rodriguez will head back to the minors for more seasoning.
Boos Or Cheers For Josh?
Texas (23-24) had a seven-game losing streak end with a 12-3 loss in Cleveland on Wednesday. Josh Hamilton, who made his season debut Monday in Cleveland, went 1 for 11 (.091) in the three-game set. It will be interesting to see what reaction he gets Thursday night back in Texas as he had some negative things to say when leaving after the 2012 season for the Angels. He was traded early this month with L.A. eating some $73 million.
“I’m sure that will be a nice feeling for him to be back in a ballpark that he is very familiar with,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of going to Texas. “I really hope that our fans will treat him just like these players have, with open arms, and appreciate the things that he has done in a Ranger uniform. Because this guy is going to be a winning player for us, and I hope there’s a sense of appreciation of him being back in a Ranger uniform.”
The Rangers start Nick Martinez (4-0, 1.96), who is among the AL ERA leaders. Martinez beat the Yankees on Saturday by holding them to two runs in seven innings and is 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in five starts in May. He is 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts at home this season. He has never pitched against the Red Sox.
Key Betting Trends
Rangers are 4-0 in Martinezs last 4 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
Rangers are 6-0 in Martinezs last 6 starts after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game.
Rangers are 8-1 in Martinezs last 9 starts.
Red Sox are 1-4 in their last 5 games following a loss.
Red Sox are 0-4 in their last 4 road games.
Red Sox are 0-5 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
Under is 8-0 in Red Sox last 8 vs. a team with a losing record.
Under is 5-0 in Red Sox last 5 games as a road underdog.
Under is 5-0 in Red Sox last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing record.
Over is 4-0 in Martinezs last 4 Thursday starts.
Over is 5-1 in Martinezs last 6 starts with 4 days of rest.
Over is 5-1 in Martinezs last 6 starts overall.
Over is 5-1 in Martinezs last 6 starts vs. American League East.
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