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Philadelphia Phillies at Texas Rangers Betting Preview

The first Sunday Night Baseball matchup of the 2023 season brings us the Texas Rangers (2-0, 2-0 home) hosting the Philadelphia Phillies (0-2, 0-2 away). Texas has dominated the opening interleague series, outscoring the Phillies 27-10 over the first two games. These two teams won’t see each other again this year unless they meet in the postseason.

Sunday’s matchup will be featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, with the first pitch at 7 p.m. EST inside Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are the betting favorite (-125 moneyline), and the over/under run total is 8.5.

What to Know – Philadelphia Phillies

The defending National League champions aren’t off to the start they were expecting, with a pair of losses and some glaring struggles on the mound. Philadelphia, who begins the season without star outfielder Bryce Harper, remains one of the favorites to win the World Series in the NL.

Right-hander Bailey Falter takes the mound for the visitors in Sunday’s series finale. The 25-year-old appeared in 20 games last season, posting 17 starts while tallying a 6-4 record with a 3.86 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 84.0 innings of work.

Even without Harper in the lineup, the offense hasn’t been the problem for Philadelphia. Alec Bohm is off to a hot start at the dish, collecting three hits over the first two games with a home run and three runs driven in. Outfielder Nick Castellanos, who had a down year in 2022, is 4-of-9 hitting with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs.

What to Know – Texas Rangers

The Rangers have invested in their lineup over the last two seasons and, so far, so good in the Lone Star State. Texas hopes the roster moves will help the Rangers return to the postseason for the first time since 2016. Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion, took over as manager following the 2022 season.

Lefty veteran Martin Perez toes the rubber for the Rangers in his 12th season in majors. Perez amassed a 12-8 record in 2022, compiling a career-best 2.89 ERA and striking out 169 batters over 196.1 innings.

Mitch Garver has already swatted a pair of home runs, driving in six runs in two contests. Robbie Grossman has added five RBIs, and Adolis Garcia and Nathanial Lowe have three apiece. Through two games, Texas is hitting .313 with a .531 team slugging percentage.

The Pick is In

Pitching is typically ahead of hitting this early in the season, but you wouldn’t know that by watching these two teams play. Texas has been phenomenal as a team at the dish, and the Phillies have scored ten runs over two games.

Can Falter limit this Rangers offseason in the series finale, or will Texas post another high-scoring output three games in a row? We don’t expect the Rangers to hit double digits again, but we like the hosts to hand the Phillies an opening series sweep.

The Pick: Texas Rangers ML

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