Sunday Night Baseball Preview: Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

The Texas Rangers (43-32) and St. Louis Cardinals (47-28) will close out a three-game interleague series on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.

Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are 23-5 following a loss this season
The St. Louis Cardinals are 23-5 following a loss this season

Texas has won four consecutive games, including a 4-2 victory over St. Louis as +162 road underdogs Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total of 8.  “We’re just taking a lot of energy and a lot of intensity into each game,” commented Rangers outfielder David Murphy.  The Rangers are 5-5 versus National League opponents in 2013, including a 4-5 mark on the road.  Texas is 1-3 as road underdogs of +150 to +175 the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 3-1 in that situation.

Rangers starting pitcher Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4.84 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 8-7 home victory over the Oakland Athletics last time out, as he allowed six runs and six hits over 3.2 innings.  The right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA in six road outings, issuing eight walks and striking out 30 batters in 35 combined frames, but has served up five home runs in that situation.  Tepesch will be making his first career appearance against the Cardinals.

St. Louis has dropped the first two of this three-game series, while it has gone UNDER the total in five of its last six contests.  “We’re playing a good, well-balanced team,” commented Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.  The Cardinals are getting great production out of first baseman Allen Craig, who has 21 RBIs in June, which is the most he’s had in one month during his time in the big leagues.  The club is 127-113 all time in interleague play, including an even 3-3 mark this season.  St. Louis is 23-5 following a loss.

Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (10-4, 2.37 ERA) had his five-game winning streak snapped last time out, as he suffered a 4-2 home loss to the Chicago Cubs, allowing four runs and seven hits over seven innings.  The right-hander is 3-3 with a 1.91 ERA in six home starts, issuing four free passes and collecting 46 strikeouts in 47 combined frames.  Wainwright will be making his first career regular-season start against the Rangers.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 6-0 mark as home favorites of -151 to -200.

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