Guardians (45-47) at Rangers (54-39) Game Preview | Sunday 7/16 2:35 PM

July 16, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Texas Rangers

3 Things:

1 – Bieber on IL

It was announced before the game on Saturday that Guardians ace Shane Bieber had been placed on the 15-day IL with right elbow inflammation. 

Monday will be a bullpen game for the Guardians against the Pirates. 

2 – Belief in Bibee

The Guardians will look to turn it around on Sunday with Tanner Bibee.  The Guardians have four straight when Bibee is the starter, and Bibee has won 3 out of 4 in that same stretch. 

3 – Lack of runs 

So far in 18 innings, the Guardians have only scored in one of those innings, the top of the 3rd on Friday when the Naylor brothers hit two home runs.  It has not been from a lack of hits, as Cleveland has 16 in the two games and out-hit Texas on Saturday.  

Guardians Notes

The Guardians have faced numerous challenges this year, but despite that, they remain within striking distance in the division, just a few games behind. They are optimistic that a single impressive winning streak could completely transform their season. In the upcoming game, the team has entrusted Tanner Bibee to take the mound. Bibee has been exceptional this season, allowing a mere 28 runs in 70 innings pitched, while also recording an impressive 71 strikeouts. His opponents have found it difficult to generate solid contact off his pitches, evident from his .357 expected opponent slugging percentage, a low 6.6 barrel percentage, and a promising 3.52 expected ERA. This has resulted in opponents struggling to drive in runs against Bibee.

While Bibee has been a standout performer on the mound, the team’s lineup has encountered difficulties in producing runs, averaging just 4.05 runs per game. Jose Ramirez has been a bright spot, boasting a solid slash line of .287/.362/.501, accompanied by 14 home runs and 171 total bases. Similarly, Josh Naylor has been a consistent contributor, slashing .306/.349/.492, hitting 12 home runs, and tallying 146 total bases. However, the remainder of the lineup has struggled to find their rhythm. Only two batters in the lineup have an OPS+ over 100, leaving opposing pitchers with the ability to neutralize ineffective hitters easily.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Bibee (5-2 with a 3.34 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings pitched) makes the start for the Guardians, his 14th of the season.
  • His most recent time out came on Thursday, July 6 against the Kansas City Royals, when the righty tossed five innings, surrendering one earned run while giving up four hits.
  • Bibee is trying for his fifth straight outing lasting five or more innings. He averages 5.4 innings per start.
  • In one of his 13 total appearances this season he has not given up an earned run.
  • The Guardians have been the underdog on the moneyline in seven of Bibee’s starts this season, and they went 2-5 in those matchups.
  • Bibee’s team is 7-6 over his 13 starts.
  • Bibee has started 13 contests with a total set by oddsmakers this season. The teams have combined to hit the over in five of them.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 14 games this season and are 11-3 in those matchups.
  • In 17 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 12-5.
  • They have a record of 31-25 this season when collecting eight or more base hits in a game.
  • In 31 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 26-5.
  • They have a 13-9 record this season when drawing five or more walks in a game.

Rangers Notes

The Rangers are enjoying a remarkable season and are determined to extend their lead in the division as the trade deadline approaches. Martin Perez, who has had a challenging year on the mound with 53 runs allowed in 92.2 innings pitched, will be starting the upcoming game. Unfortunately, his performance has been hindered by a .291 expected opponent Batting Average, a 14.9% Strikeout Percentage, and a 5.38 expected ERA, indicating that opposing teams have been capitalizing on his pitching and easily scoring runs.

Despite Perez’s struggles, the Rangers’ lineup has been the most potent in baseball, averaging an impressive 5.90 runs per game. In their last two games alone, they have scored a total of 14 runs. Corey Seager has been outstanding at the plate, boasting a slash line of .355/.416/.628 along with 13 home runs and 152 total bases. Adolis Garcia has also contributed power to the lineup, slashing .266/.334/.527 with 24 home runs and 186 total bases. However, it’s not just these two players; the entire batting order has been exceptional.

Ezequiel Duran has been hitting at an impressive clip, with a slash line of .303/.338/.518, 12 home runs, and 130 total bases. Josh Jung and Jonah Heim have combined for 32 home runs and 321 total bases, further bolstering the team’s offensive firepower. With such a formidable lineup, the Rangers have become a formidable force that is difficult for opposing teams to contain.

Rangers Stats and Insights


  • When Perez starts, his team is 9-8-0 against the spread this season.
  • The left-hander’s last appearance was on Monday, July 3, when he threw 1 1/3 innings against the Houston Astros, giving up six earned runs while allowing six hits.
  • Perez has made 13 starts of five or more innings in 17 chances this season, and averages 5.4 frames when he pitches.
  • He has two appearances this season with zero earned runs allowed out of his 17 chances this season.
  • Perez’s team has been victorious in 66.7% of the games he’s started as the moneyline favorite with a record of 6-3.
  • Pérez’s team has won 11 of his 17 starts this season.
  • In games Perez has started this season, the teams are 10-7-0 at hitting the over.


  • The Rangers have a 32-12 record this season in games when they belt two or more homers.
  • Texas has gone 22-12 in its 34 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The club has put up eight or more hits 79 times this season, and has a 54-25 record in those games.
  • Texas has a 49-16 record in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Rangers have gone 23-12 over the 35 games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Guardians are relying on one of their top starting pitchers in hopes of winning the upcoming game and defying the odds as road underdogs. However, they face a formidable challenge against the Rangers, who have been excelling this season and are poised to conclude the series with an impressive performance. With an average of 5.90 runs per game, the Rangers’ lineup, led by Corey Seager, Adolis Garcia, and other strong hitters, is expected to effortlessly bring in runs, consistently making solid contact and powering the ball to drive baserunners across home plate. On the other hand, the Rangers should be able to contain the Guardians’ lineup, which only manages an average of 4.05 runs per game. Martin Perez is anticipated to deliver a stellar pitching performance, lasting multiple innings and allowing the bullpen to secure the victory. Consequently, the Rangers are predicted to triumph in the game and complete a series sweep with an impressive showing on their home turf.

Consider placing a bet on the Rangers’ money line as the favored home team.

Our Pick: Take Rangers and the ML

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