The red-hot Texas Rangers will look to continue their dream season when they host the struggling St. Louis Cardinals in the first game of their series on Monday.
The Rangers have won 12 of their last 15 games behind the best offense in the majors combined with some outstanding pitching. On the other hand, the Cardinals have been one of the biggest disappointments in MLB, and are coming off a sweep at the hands of the Pirates.
Tonight’s game is a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions. We'll look at whether Texas can continue to ride these trends in our free MLB betting picks for Cardinals vs. Rangers on June 5.
Cardinals vs Rangers odds
Cardinals vs Rangers predictions
The Texas Rangers have been absolutely dominant of late, pounding opponents into submission with a devastating offense. Texas is scoring 6.48 runs per game, and that number is over 6.8 in the last 11 games.
In an era when batting average means less than ever, the Rangers have four players (Corey Seager, Ezequiel Duran, Leody Taveras, and Marcus Semien) all hitting over .300, and it feels like nearly the whole team is posting an OPS of over .800. This is a modern-day Murderer’s Row.
The St. Louis Cardinals have no chance of matching that offensive firepower, so their only chance is to somehow slow Texas down. To do so, St. Louis will turn to veteran Adam Wainwright, the 41-year-old righty who is closing in on 200 career wins.
However, Wainwright hasn’t been himself this year. Whether it's just a bad start or age finally catching up to him, he's compiled an uncharacteristic 6.15 ERA over his first five starts this year.
After three straight solid seasons for the Cardinals, the team he's spent his entire career with, Wainwright is struggling in ways he never has before. While he’s never been a strikeout pitcher, he’s now having trouble striking anyone out, and he’s allowing more hits than he ever has in his career. That’s a bad formula against a Texas team that puts balls in play and hits them hard when they do.
The Rangers are countering with Martin Perez, who hasn’t been quite up to his All-Star form from last year. Still, Perez has put up a 6-1 record on the season, doing enough for an outstanding Texas team to help them win games.
Perez should be able to find some success against a Cardinals lineup that doesn’t present the same kind of threat as the Rangers. While St. Louis has put up solid offensive numbers on the season, its lineup has struggled of late, scoring just 2.33 runs per game over its last nine outings. The loss of Lars Nootbaar has hurt the Cardinals, with injuries to Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson also limiting their depth.
Maybe Wainwright can turn back the clock for one night and summon a vintage performance, maybe the Cardinals can suddenly start hitting again, but tonight's game will most likely be one-way traffic in favor of the Rangers.
MLB odds have made Texas only a modest favorite on Monday, and that doesn’t seem like enough given that the Rangers have the edge in every area tonight, and are playing at home. I’m not only backing the Rangers, but I want to take them on the run line to extract every last bit of value from this line tonight.
My best bet: Rangers -1.5 (+146 at FanDuel)
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Cardinals vs Rangers moneyline analysis
Texas opened tonight’s game as around a -125 favorite. As of noon on Monday, the Rangers are closer to a -140 favorite, though you can find lines as good as -136 on the market. If you want to bet on St. Louis, there are numbers as long as +130 on the Cardinals tonight.
These teams have both defied expectations — in very different ways — and that’s reflected in their moneyline performance on the season. The Rangers have been one of the best teams in baseball for bettors, winning nearly 12 units so far on the season, while the Cardinals rank near the bottom of the league, having lost 13 units for bettors.
The Rangers have been particularly good with Perez on the mound, going 8-3 in his starts. While he was a little shaky against the Tigers in his last outing, Perez had been quite good recently, going seven innings and giving up just two runs in each of his two previous performances.
The Cardinals have lost six of eight against the Pirates, the Guardians, and the Royals, who managed a split in St. Louis. There’s no reason to think that the Cardinals will finally find their form against a far superior Texas team that’s better than anyone they’ve played of late. The Rangers are the clear pick on the moneyline tonight.
Cardinals vs Rangers Over/Under analysis
The total for tonight’s game opened at 9.5 runs at most sites. Many books have pushed that number up to 10 runs flat as of noon on Monday. The best Under line available is -115 at 10 runs, while you can get the Over at -103 at 10 or -118 at 9.5 runs.
The Cardinals have been playing evenly to the total, with the Over going 29-30 in their games. Texas has put up big numbers on the year, with the Over going 33-23 in their games in 2023.
Both teams can score runs, even if St. Louis has been struggling to find its offensive punch as of late. While the Rangers are elite, the Cardinals are also above average on the season, putting up 4.70 runs per game despite the recent slump. This is also a pitching matchup that would lend itself to a high-scoring game, as neither Wainwright nor Perez has been able to shut down opponents this year.
All that said, this is a big number. The Cardinals have gone over 10 runs in total in just one of their last nine games. That means that the Rangers will have to carry most of the load, and while they’re definitely capable, Texas has only played to a total of 10 or more in four of their last 11 games — hardly a guarantee.
If I had to place a bet here tonight, it would be on the Under, but with these offenses and the shaky pitching matchup, my recommendation is to stay off this market and focus on the Rangers instead.
Cardinals vs Rangers game info
|Location:||Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX|
|Date:||Monday, June 5, 2023|
|First pitch:||8:05 p.m. ET|
Adam Wainwright (2-1, 6.15 ERA): One of the venerable pitchers in the NL, Wainwright is now in his 18th season with the Cardinals. While he still knows how to pitch, Wainwright appears to be struggling with age in 2023. In five starts, he’s averaging just over five innings per start and has thrown to a 1.709 WHIP, the highest of his career. Last time out, Wainwright gave up three runs on nine hits in just five innings in a loss to the Royals.
Martin Perez (6-1, 4.43 ERA): Coming off an All-Star season in 2022, Perez hasn’t been quite the same this year, though Texas is still winning with him on the mound. Perez is allowing 1.5 home runs per nine innings this year, isn’t striking out as many batters as last season, and is throwing to a 5.01 FIP, nearly two runs worse than last year. Perez struggled in his last start, giving up six runs in 4 2/3 innings to the Tigers.
Trend to know
The Rangers are 20-7 in their last 27 games overall. Find more MLB betting trends for Cardinals vs. Rangers