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Can Gausman Sneak Fastballs By Rangers?

Updated: .July 29, 2017

By Charles Jay

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter is generally considered a pretty good handler of pitchers. And he thinks that one of the guys he needs to rely on has worked out some of his problems. We’ll see if that continues, as Kevin Gausman takes the hill against the Texas Rangers, in a game that is set to begin at 8:05 PM ET on Saturday night in Arlington. If you are an America’s Bookie customer, you’ll enjoy two different “Live Betting” options to stay in the action, even after the umpire says “Play Ball!”

Certainly the Orioles are in a rough position right now; they have dropped three straight games and have a record of 48-54, which puts them behind three teams in the American League East. The wild-card picture is such that very few teams are out of it, so Baltimore still has a chance to get back to the one-off wild-card game, which it lost last season. But they are 6.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals, who currently occupy that slot.

The Rangers are hopeful as well, and they are little closer, as they are only four games behind Kansas City with their 50-52 record. The wild-card is the only shot for Texas to get to the playoffs; they currently trail the Houston Astros in the American League West race by 18 games. Baltimore still has a glimmer of hope in the AL East, as they are just eight games behind the New York Yankees.

Making the start for Showalter and the Orioles on Saturday night is Kevin Gausman, who has been a big disappointment with his 5.79 ERA, but is coming off a couple of very strong outings. The Rangers will go with Austin Bebins-Dirxx, who is taking a turn in the rotation once again after spending some time as part of the bullpen crew.

In the baseball betting odds that are posted on this game, Baltimore is favored on the road:

Baltimore Orioles (Gausman) -120
Texas Rangers ( Bebins-Dirxx) +100

Over 11 Runs -105
Under 11 Runs -115

Orioles -1.5 Runs +125
Rangers +1.5 Runs -145

Showalter says that Gausman has been going with his bread-and-butter a lot more of late, and that means throwing the fastball. And he is coming off six shutout innings over the Tampa Bay raise, which came on the heels of another six solid innings, where he gave up just one run against this same Texas ballclub. Maybe it is an advantage for the Rangers that they are getting to see him again so soon, but regardless of that, it has been a chore for Gausman to put together good efforts in consecutive road starts.

For that matter, the Orioles themselves have not been road warriors, but instead road “worriers,” posting just an 18-33 record when visiting. And rhey give up 5.8 runs a game when they are away from home. That’s kind of a problem when you are the road favorite in a game. .

The main concern with Bebins-Dirxx is that he might be a little rusty. His last start for Texas came on June 30, and he was not necessarily moved into the bullpen because of lack of performance, but because Texas was able to get some of its injured pitchers back. But now, Tyson Ross, who has had his injury concerns in recent seasons, is back on the DL, which gives the Oregon native another opportunity.

With just two relief appearances in July, he hasn’t necessarily been busy, and one of those was a rather unsuccessful one on July 18, when he gave up six hits, including a grand slam to Chris Davis as part of his 2 -1/3 inning stint. So let’s see what happens here; he says that he’s been throwing bullpen sessions a lot, and let’s face it – at least he isn’t going to have a tired arm.

There’s something also very encouraging about his WHIP ratio, which is currently at 1.23 (just 1.09 as a starter). Frankly, we have our doubts about Gausman, and Showalter did too, as he actually considered sending him to the minors after he got blasted out in three innings by the Cubs just a couple of weeks ago. So excuse us if we are not all that confident that he can put together a third straight sterling effort. It’s “underdog” time here, with us taking the Rangers on Saturday night, as the Charles Jay/America’s Bookie Challenge continues.

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