The AL West-leading Texas Rangers will look to build on their strong start to the season when they welcome the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves to Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Monday. First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. ET. The Rangers will send the recently recalled Cody Bradford to the mound for his Major League debut, while the Braves will counter with Charlie Morton (4-3, 3.32).
Atlanta is a -150 favorite on the moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook, while Texas checks in as a +130 underdog. The run total is set at 9.
Braves-Rangers picks: Monday, May 14
Out: SP Max Fried (left forearm strain), SP Kyle Wright (right shoulder inflammation), RP Lucas Luetge (left biceps inflammation)
Day to day: UTIL Josh Smith (hit by pitch)
Out: OF Travis Jankowski (right hamstring strain), C Mitch Garver (left knee sprain), SP Jacob deGrom (right elbow inflammation), SS Corey Seager (left hamstring strain)
Charlie Morton vs. Cody Bradford
Morton will look to stop the bleeding for a Braves team that was swept by the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. The 39-year-old is coming off a win against the Boston Red Sox where he allowed two runs over six innings while striking out seven. Morton has been the definition of consistency so far this season, as he’s gone at least five innings in all of his starts, and has allowed three earned runs or less in six of the seven.
With deGrom on the injured list, the Rangers are turning to Bradford for a spot start that will allow Dane Dunning another day of rest. Bradford is off to a great start to the season in Triple-A (0.91 ERA in 39 2/3 innings), and has only surrendered one home run after coughing up 19 last year. He has an above-average changeup that complements a fastball that has an average velocity in the low 90s.
I’m backing the under here. While both teams have high-powered offenses, this game seems to be shaping up into a pitcher’s duel, as the Rangers have cleared this under in five of their last seven games, while the Braves have cleared this under in four of their last six games. While it’s tough to guess how any pitcher’s Major League debut is going to go, I think Morton and Bradford trade zeroes tonight.
Pick: Under 9
After getting swept over the weekend, the Braves are going to get back in the win column today. As I mentioned above, it can be tough to predict a pitcher’s debut, but I’m still banking on the Braves’ offensive talent to get the job done.