Indians vs. Rangers Betting Line – May 15

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Indians vs. Rangers Betting Line – May 15

Carrie Stroup here with your Indians vs. Rangers betting line for Friday May 15. Line: Texas -123, Cleveland +113, Total: 9

Two struggling American League teams, the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, begin a three-game series when they meet in Arlington on Friday night.                                                                              

The Indians’ 2015 struggles continue as they come into this game with three straight series losses; the most recent being against the St. Louis Cardinals to kick off the week. They’ve now lost six of their past nine contests, allowing 40 runs in the defeats (6.7 runs per game) as the offense put up a mere six runs in the three games against the Cardinals.

In the rubber-match on Thursday, they held a one-run lead until the eighth inning when 3B Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer that put St. Louis in the driver’s seat for good. Cleveland was 0-for-7 with RISP in the disappointing loss as OF Michael Brantley (.330) continued to hit and now has a hit in 12 of his last 13 games; hitting his third homer of the month on Thursday.

Texas may not have started out the season too great, but they have found a rhythm lately, grabbing victories in eight of their past 13 games and recently split a tough series at home against the defending AL Champion Kansas City Royals. They scored 22 runs in the four contests (5.5 runs per game) but failed to win the series on Thursday after a 6-3 loss. The pitchers for the Rangers allowed 14 hits in the contest while the offense couldn’t muster up much of anything with a 2-for-9 mark with RISP despite striking out a mere three times. DH Prince Fielder (.348) has been hitting everything thrown his way and carries a four-game hitting streak into this matchup in which he is 7-for-15 (.467) with two HRs and six RBI.

A couple of veterans will be getting the start in this contest as LHP Bruce Chen (0-1, 13.50 ERA) gets the call for the Indians and will attempt to outpitch LHP Wandy Rodriguez (1-1, 2.70 ERA) of the host team. The road has not been all that kind to Cleveland as it is 6-9 outside of its stadium while Texas is a meager 5-11 at home.

When these two groups have met over the previous two seasons, the Indians have made mince meat of the Rangers, going 11-2 overall with both of the losses coming on the road (5-2). The last series between them was in Cleveland and they swept while outscoring Texas 18-5. Trends show that Texas is a putrid 15-39 (.278) at home when the total is nine to 9.5 over the past two seasons as the Indians have gone a poor 88-100 (.468) when the money line is +125 to -125 in the last three years. 

The injury report has C Yan Gomes (Knee) still out for Cleveland as OF Leonys Martin (Hand) is listed as questionable for the Rangers.                                                                                                           

The Indians are the 11th stop for Chen in his long career as the 37-year-old has tallied just 82 wins in his 1,529.2 innings pitched. He has seen his usage decline quickly over the past four seasons and last year he was only on the mound for 48.1 major league innings; sporting a 7.45 ERA in that time. His first start of 2015 did not go too well when he faced Minnesota last week and over four innings gave up six runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts (1 walk) in a losing effort. He isn’t much of a strikeout pitcher, failing to mow down more than seven batters per nine innings in each year since 2003, but does possess great control and has had a mark lower than 1.6 BB/9 in each season since 2010.

Texas has given him tons of issues in the past and over six career starts he is 2-3 (2-4 team record) with a 7.84 ERA (1.77 WHIP), but has not seen them since 2012 when he allowed six runs in six innings. He will have a tough time once again as both DH Prince Fielder (7-for-22, 2 HR, 6 RBI) and 3B Adrian Beltre (9-for-30, 3 HR, 5 RBI) have dominated him in the past. The one player that he has had success against is SS Elvis Andrus, who is hitless in seven at-bats against the lefty.

The bullpen for Cleveland has been mediocre, going 1-4 with a 3.69 ERA (1.46 WHIP) and are 5-for-8 in save opportunities. Cody Allen (8.25 ERA, 5 saves) has struggled in his time on the mound, giving up 12 runs (11 ER) in his 12 frames while having issues with control (9 BB).                                                                             

At one point, Rodriguez was a stud in the majors and won 57 games between 2008 and 2012 while sporting a sub 3.80 ERA each season. Injuries have derailed his career, though, and in the past two years he has a mere 18 starts and did poorly (6.75 ERA) over six of those last year in Pittsburgh. Now at the age of 36, Rodriguez hopes he can give just a little more and has showed promise through four starts this year, striking out 22 batters (8.5 K/9) and going at least six innings in each of his last two outings. In total he pitched 14 frames in those two starts and gave up a mere two runs on five hits while striking out 14 batters (2 walks).

He has actually never faced the Indians over his 252 career starts, but will need to be careful when going against the duo of OF Michael Brantley and 2B Jason Kipnis as they’ve combined for 17 doubles, seven homers and 10 stolen bases on the year. He may be able to handle OF Michael Bourn with ease, though, as he is hitting just .222 so far with two steals.

The relievers for Texas have combined to go 6-5 with a 4.56 ERA (1.38 WHIP) and are a poor 6-for-12 in saves. Neftali Feliz (4.11 ERA, 6 saves) has blown two saves but is perfect in his last four tries while allowing one run on four hits in his past five innings of work.

- Carrie Stroup, Senior Reporter

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