The Texas Rangers shocked the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday with a 12-1 thumping of the reigning World Series champs. Of course, the Dodgers beat the Rangers 12-1 on Friday, setting up Sunday’s rubber match. Los Angeles is heavily favored in Sunday’s game with a -255 moneyline, while the Rangers have a +205 moneyline.
Before Saturday’s disastrous game, the Dodgers had won four in a row and six of their last eight games. The club had experienced some ups and downs but seemed to have been moving in the right direction. As it stands, Los Angeles is 12 games over .500 but still two games behind the Giants in the NL West.
As for the Rangers, they are just 3-7 since the start of June, even after Saturday’s win. Texas is now 15 games under .500, dropping them 13.5 games back in the AL West. Of course, that explains why they are such heavy underdogs on Sunday despite a 12-1 win on Saturday.
Young righty Dane Dunning will get the start on Sunday. Through 12 starts this season, he’s 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA, pitching much better than his record would indicate. While he’s had a couple of rough starts mixed in, Dunning has pitched five or more shutout innings in two of his last four starts.
Of course, despite the Dodgers scoring two runs or less in three of their last six games, they still have plenty of offensive firepower. Unfortunately, Max Muncy has joined Corey Seager on the IL after being one of the team’s most consistent hitters this season. Surprisingly, Albert Pujols and Justin Turner have led the way for the Dodgers recently, with AJ Pollock also coming on strong while Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger struggle to take the lead.
Buehler’s Day Off
Meanwhile, Walker Buehler will look to keep his perfect record intact on Sunday. In his first 12 starts of 2021, Buehler is 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA. His strikeout numbers are down, but Buehler remains as efficient as ever, holding opposing teams to two runs or less in nine of his 12 starts.
He’ll try to keep it going against a Texas lineup that’s confident after scoring 12 runs on Saturday but hasn’t had much consistency this year. The likes of Joey Gallo, Nate Lowe, and Nick Solak have provided some power, but Adolis Garcia is the only Texas hitter providing hitting consistently for power and average this year. Meanwhile, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Brock Holt have started to come on strong as table-setters over the past week.
Take a Chance
As the betting odds indicate, the Dodgers are huge favorites in this game, especially with Buehler on the mound. But there’s no denying that Los Angeles is a vulnerable team after a lopsided loss and Muncy going on the IL.
Against a lineup that has struggled to find consistency, Dunning has a chance to give Texas a quality start. There’s also a chance that the Rangers can carry over some offense from Saturday into Sunday. That’s enough of a reason to take a chance on Texas, given the high upside and the limited value the Dodgers have as such a heavy favorite.