Rangers vs. Phillies MLB Best Bet: Great Dane To Overpower His Walker

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All 30 MLB teams are in action Wednesday across the 15-game slate of Major League Baseball betting matchups, including five afternoon games. And we have three plays that we feel hold great betting value.

These plays are based mostly on our proprietary model, along with the MLB odds at the top sportsbooks. One of the best bets for Wednesday comes in the City of Brotherly Love, where our model favors a side when the Rangers visit the Phillies.

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MLB Pick: Rangers ML (+123) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Rangers ML (+123)
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Texas Rangers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 – 06:40 PM ET at Citizens Bank Park

We feel Dane Dunning of the underdog Rangers has the pitching edge Wednesday over Taijuan Walker and the favored Phillies. Thus, we predict a Texas upset in Philadelphia.

Strikeouts Up with Nice Arsenal

Dunning is being activated off the injured list to make this start, as he looks to build off the nice start he had before going on the shelf. Yes, his ERA stands at 4.10, but he has been better than that with a 3.73 xFIP and a huge jump in his strikeout rate to 10.37/9 from 7.30 last season. Normally we would be dubious of such a jump, but there are promising signals to support it.

The most obvious of those is a career-high swinging strike rate of 12.3%, up substantially from 9.7% last season. A major key for that has been revamping his pitch mix, and increasing the usage of his 90.4 MPH sinker, which has also led to a good 43.3% groundball rate. In fact, Dane has varied his mix where he now has four different pitches that he has thrown at least 12% of the time, and he is even developing an occasional curveball as a fifth pitch.

Low Strikeouts, Ugly xFIP

The Phillies sit atop the National League East at 35-14, but sadly Walker has not had much to do with that success. Yes, he has ridden the success of his offense to a 3-0 record, but he has a 4.91 ERA and an even uglier 5.15 xFIP. The 31-year-old did not make his first start until April 28th, and he has looked less than stellar in his four outings.

Taijuan has a weak K/BB ratio of 6.55/2.45 per nine innings, and much of his contact allowed has been in the air as he has a very low groundball rate of 29.4%. Even worse, much of the contact has been hard at 33.8%, which not surprisingly has led to five home runs allowed in only 22 innings, which works out to a disgusting 2.05/9.

Things do not figure to get easier against a Texas offense ranked seventh in the majors in wRC+ against right-handers at 107.

The Pick

We expect Walker’s struggles to continue at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, and this time we do not expect him to luck out with run support given Dunning’s metrics. Bet the Rangers as road underdogs.

Predicted Score: Rangers 6 – Phillies 4

MLB Pick: Rangers ML (+123) at BetOnline

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Rangers ML (+123)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.