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MLB Cubs at Rangers

June 20, 2007

MLB Baseball - Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (+106, 10˝) 8:30 EST+106

Sammy Sosa of the RangersThe Cubs will be making first ever appearance in Arlington, as these two teams have only met once before in the regular season and that was in 2002 in Chicago.

The Cubs are -130 betting road favorite according to sportsbook.com because of the pitching match-up in the series opener.

Sean Marshall has been on fire since returning to the Chicago rotation, with five excellent starts in five attempts, giving him 3-2 record with coruscate earned run average of 2.12.

With a little better run support it is not hard to imagine Marshall at 5-0 on the year. The Cubs just completed a successful 4-3 homestand and actually have played better on the road this season with 16-17 record. (-0.9 units) Chicago comes into this interleague contest 8-3 in last 11 as a road favorite in 2007.

Texas starter Robinson Tejada has also been on fire, just in a different way. Tejada has been torched almost the entire season, being one of the causes of the Rangers being the worst team in the American League, and the worst wager to boot at -13.9 units.

The former Phillie is 5-7 with 6.49 ERA and has been even more dreadful in June with 8.81 ERA with difficult to stomach 1.958 WHIP.

The role of home underdog for Texas has been money in the bank for those playing against the Rangers, who are 8-31 (-21.1 Units) against the money line as a home underdog of +100 or higher over the last two seasons.

New manager Ron Washington has had troubles trying to get this free swinging bunch to be more patient at the dish and a quandary has developed in the interim with Texas 1-13 against the ML vs. a starting pitcher whose strikes out five or more batters per start this season.

This still might be a good spot to play the underdog Texans since the ballpark will have loads of excitement with what is at stake for Sosa, trying to become the fifth player ever in major league baseball to reach 600 plateau.

Despite Tejada’s obvious deficiencies, Lou Pinella’s squad has only scored 2.9 runs per game in last seven outings.

With the Cubs 42-60 (-24.6 Units) against the ML when playing against a team with a losing record and 20-36 vs. a good bullpen whose ERA is 3.75 or better over the last two seasons, the Rangers might actually hold value as a play tonight.

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