BET: Guardians Upset Rangers, Jon Gray Friday in Texas

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The red-hot Cleveland Guardians (83-67) are running away with the AL Central as they visit the Texas Rangers (65-84) Friday to start a 3-game set at Globe Life Field.

Cleveland is 8-2 in the last 10 games, 15-5 in the last 20 and has taken a 7-game lead atop the AL Central.

Texas won back-to-back home games vs. the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday-Thursday and is 5-5 in the last 10.

The Guardians took two of three in Cleveland vs. the Rangers in early June, outscoring the Rangers 13-9 in that series.

We’re taking the CLEVELAND GUARDIANS (+105) at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the series opener for the following reasons:

  • Rangers starting RHP Jon Gray (7-7, 3.80 ERA) is too expensive.
  • Cleveland’s pitching edge.
  • The Guardians are better vs. righties.

Betting Deets (DraftKings)

Guardians Jose Ramirez watches a 2-run homer during the 8th inning at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Jason Miller/Getty Images).

Buying The Guardians Cheap

Gray struggles vs. quality competition. He is 1-7 with a 4.66 ERA vs. teams with a winning record (2.64 ERA vs. losing teams) and 2.73 K/BB rate (6.00 K/BB rate vs. losing teams).

This is Gray’s third start back from an IL stint and didn’t make it to the 5th inning in the first two outings. Also, Gray surrendered 5 earned runs 6-3 loss to the Guardians June 7. Gray only had 3 K’s with 4 walks and 5 hits allowed vs. Cleveland.

Guardians starting RHP Cody Morris (0-2, 2.30 ERA) is making his fifth career start. Yet Texas is only -125 on the ML with Gray on the bump. The Rangers signed Gray to a 4-year, $56 million contract this offseason.

A starter making $14M/year shouldn’t be a -125 ML favorite at home vs. a rookie starter. Unless they face a Cleveland organization whose farm system is a pitching factory. The Guardians have a track record for developing dominant young arms.

Cleveland’s bullpen is fourth in ERA (3.10) and sixth in both K/BB rate (3.05) and home runs allowed per nine (0.88), per FanGraphs. If Morris can keep it close with Gray, I’ll take my chances with Cleveland’s lineup vs. Texas’s bullpen.

Finally, the Guardians rank 11th in wRC+ against righties, 12th in wOBA and sixth in BB/K rate. All of these are better than the Rangers vs. right-handed pitching. Cleveland is 58-51 against righty starters while Texas is 21 games below .500 (39-60).

BET the CLEVELAND GUARDIANS (+105) at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook at Friday, Sept. 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.

Written by Geoff Clark

Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events.

Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB.

Clark graduated from St. John University.

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