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Game 122: Twins @ Rangers

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Jake Odorizzi played for the Rays. Mike Minor was drafted by the Rays. Coincidence — or ALIEN CONSPIRACY?

MLB: AUG 02 Giants at Rangers
BoJack Horseman’s long-lost brother, Rangers Captain.
Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

Time: 7:05 Central. Vegas Line: -108 TEX / - 102 MIN

Weather: Sun sun sun, start temp a chilly 98°

Opponent’s SB site: Lone Star Ball

TV: FSN. Radio: Cowpokes used to listen to it on the trail

Baseball odds are traditionally expressed in a -x/+y format. The favorite has the lower number. The way this works is that you would need to bet x to win x+$100 on the favorite, and if you bet $100 on the underdog, you could win y+$100. So the bigger that difference between x and y, the more lopsided oddsmakers think a matchup is. (It developed this way because the usual method of evening out betting, point spreads, doesn’t really work for baseball.)

You rarely see odds so close as the ones listed above. That’s because tonight’s Rangers starter, veteran lefty Mike Minor, is the best in their rotation. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, yet changes speeds effectively, which has usually allowed him to rack up good strikeout numbers. He’ll give up some homers, but outdoors in Dallas, anybody would.

Speaking of which, you may be aware that Texas is moving into a new-air-conditioned stadium next season. (The Rangers team, not the entire state of Texas.) It gets plenty o’warm down there, and will get warmer, and a giant air-conditioned building will contribute to that warming in its own small way.

What’s to become of the old building? Even team executive VP Rob Matwick admitted that the “structure and facade are in good shape.”

For next year, at least, they’ll have one guaranteed (probably) tenant: the XFL.

Yes, the XFL is coming back! For those who don’t remember, the XFL was a competing football league founded by professional slimebucket Vince McMahon. It promised to be a sped-up, more violent (!!!) version of the NFL. Governor Jesse Ventura sometimes did color commentary on the games. It folded after one season in 2001, and was mostly memorable for the jersey name “He Hate Me” chosen by running back Rod Smart. (Who is only 42 now, by the way!)

Never one to let a bad idea die, McMahon is bringing the league back in 2020. This time its primary selling points seem to be that they will not allow players’ unions nor permit any player to ignore the rather dull national anthem. Who knows, maybe it’ll catch on and in five years the NFL will be gone and HAHAHAHA sure, whatever.

In Texas, however, there’s already a hugely successful football league which encourages super-patriotism and isn’t unionized. It’s called High School Football. (My understanding is that Texans love high-school football like Minnesotans love high-school hockey.) So we’ll see how long the New XFL plays in that old Rangers stadium. My guess is, not long, and the empty building will just sit there for years like the Astrodome in Houston today.

In any case, the Rangers will have new stadium money next year, which will add to their $3.1 million local cable deal, and they probably won’t spend hardly any of it. That’s just not in vogue among GMs, these days.....

Here’s a video about a real-life guy, Bass Reeves, who might have been (but probably wasn’t) inspiration for the fictional Lone Ranger character, even though he wasn’t a Texas Ranger. (Reeves likely wouldn’t have passed the historical Rangers’ employment screening.) A few very mild cuss words aren’t bleeped out.

Yes, that is Jaleel White, TV’s Urkel. He got bigger. Lineups:

Today's Lineups

TWINS RANGERS
Mitch Garver - C Shin-Soo Choo - DH
Luis Arraez - LF Danny Santana - 1B
Jorge Polanco - DH Elvis Andrus - SS
Miguel Sano - 3B Willie Calhoun - LF
Max Kepler - CF Nomar Mazara - RF
C.J. Cron - 1B Rougned Odor - 2B
Marwin Gonzalez - RF Delino DeShields Jr. - CF
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Isiah Kiner-Falefa - 3B
Ehire Adrianza - SS Jeff Mathis - C

Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs thought that the Rangers should have traded Minor this season (I wouldn’t have minded him on the Twins) but apparently Texas wants him around at least one more year. Eddie Rosario is 0-12 lifetime against Minor, with one walk and five Ks. Marwin González is 0-13 with no walks and four Ks. If Marwin does badly tonight, you can blame Baldelli for sitting Rosario instead.