The Texas Rangers have led the American League West all season – and they have gone 16-4 since June 10 to extend their cushion to five games. The Chicago White Sox, meanwhile, have been locked in a back-and-forth battle with Cleveland atop the crowded AL Central, coming into Tuesday’s contest with a slim two-game advantage. Texas opened the season by taking two of three games at home against Chicago.
Two of baseball’s top home-run hitters will be squaring off over the next three days — Texas OF Josh Hamilton is second in the major leagues with 25 round-trippers, one in front of Chicago DH Adam Dunn. The Rangers lead the major leagues in most major offensive categories, including batting average (.284), runs scored (427) and OPS (.804). The White Sox pitching staff has done a good job keeping runners off the bases, ranking third in the majors in WHIP (1.23).
Rangers White Sox Betting
When: 8:10 PM ET, Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Where: U.S Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Houston (Texas), Comcast Sports Plus (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Roy Oswalt (2-0, 4.26 ERA) vs. White Sox LH Chris Sale (9-2, 2.27 ERA)
Oswalt has won both of his starts since joining the Texas staff, but he needed some help to get the victory in his last outing. He gave up five runs and 13 hits over six innings in a 13-9 triumph over Detroit. Opponents have had little trouble getting runners on base, batting a robust .393 against the veteran right-hander. Oswalt has faced the White Sox just once, recording a no-decision in 2006.
Sale has emerged as a Cy Young contender in his first season as a starter, allowing two runs or fewer in 10 of his 14 starts and ranking among the league leaders in most major categories. Excluding a June 15 loss at Los Angeles, he has given up just six runs and 29 hits over his last 51 2/3 innings. Sale has made four relief appearances against Texas.
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1. Texas has rebounded well from losses, winning 41 of the last 52 times it has played coming off a defeat.
2. The Rangers have won 44 of their last 58 series openers, while the White Sox have lost four of their last five.
3. Dunn has far and away the most experience of any Chicago hitter against Oswalt, going 20-for-81 with four homers, 12 RBIs, 13 walks and 28 strikeouts against the Texas starter.