The first Sunday night baseball game is here. The Texas Rangers look to sweep the series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Texas went 34-47 at home a season ago as the pitching staff put up a 4.22 ERA. Meanwhile, Philadelphia went 40-41 in road games last season, as their pitching staff had a 3.97 ERA. Texas has dominated Philadelphia in recent years, winning the previous ten overall. Also, they outscored the Phillies through the series’ first two games, 27-10.
The Texas Rangers have scored 27 runs in their first two games against the Phillies.
That’s more runs than points the Dallas Cowboys scored (23) in their first two games of the 2022-2023 season. pic.twitter.com/Wp2RaC6eZh
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) April 2, 2023
Sunday Night Baseball Breakdown
Starting Pitchers: Bailey Falter vs Martín Pérez
Bailey Falter opens the season as the Phillies’ fifth starter with Andrew Painter injured. Falter pitched well for Philadelphia last season, holding a 3.86 ERA and 74:17 K: BB over 84 innings. 16 of his 20 appearances came as a starter. He has an impressive track record in the minor leagues, particularly when striking out batters.
Martín Pérez enters his third stint with Texas. He put up a strong 2022 campaign, earning his first All-Star appearance with a career-best 2.89 over 196 1/3 innings. The 11-year veteran was the anchor of a Rangers pitching staff who struggled mightily. But Pérez finished eighth in the AL in ERA and fifth in innings pitched. He was second on the team in bWAR (5.0).
Phillies at Rangers Odds, Prediction
Provided by BetMGM Sportsbook, the over/under for the game is 9.5 (O: -115/ U: -105). The run line/against the spread leans toward the Rangers -1.5 (+155).
Only one of the last nine meetings between these clubs has been a one-run game, and with how the Rangers have been all over the Phillies so far. That could lead to them to cover, especially since the Phillies have called on their bullpen a lot through the series’ first two games and may need to ask a lot from Falter.
It’s no secret the Rangers have been the better team over the last two games. The Phillies are 0-8 over the previous eight meetings with the Rangers in Texas. They are 3-13 over the previous 16 meetings altogether. The Rangers are 0-4 against left-handed starters, but that shouldn’t overlook the Phillies’ struggles. Only one of the last nine games between these teams has been decided by a one-run game. The Phillies have called on their bullpen a lot through the first two games, and they may need more from Falter tonight.
Pick: 6-3 Rangers.
Photo Credit: © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports