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The Daily Sweat: Can the Rangers finish off the Orioles in the ALDS?

After a remarkable run through the regular season, the Baltimore Orioles are staring at a swift exit from the MLB postseason.

The Orioles won 101 games, the second most in all of baseball, and won the American League East for the first time since 2014. But the start of their Divisional Series vs. the Texas Rangers has not gone according to plan.

The Orioles lost both Games 1 and 2 at home and are now facing elimination with the series shifting back to Texas.

If you believe in momentum, it’s firmly on the side of the Rangers. The Rangers swept the Tampa Bay Rays with two road wins in the wild-card round before taking two more at Camden Yards to open their series with the Orioles. The Rangers held on for a 3-2 win in Game 1 before the bats broke out in an 11-8 Game 2 victory.

The Rangers will look to finish off the sweep and advance to the ALCS on Tuesday night with Nathan Eovaldi on the mound. The Rangers are -135 favorites at BetMGM. The Orioles, who will counter with Dean Kremer, are +115 underdogs.

Eovaldi was excellent his last time out. He went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one earned run while scattering six hits and striking out eight to help the Rangers advance past the Rays and into the ALDS. Kremer, in his fourth season with the Orioles, will make his postseason debut. He faced the Rangers back in May and took a loss, allowing five hits and three runs in 6.1 innings.

Kremer will need to come up in the clutch for Baltimore’s breakthrough season to stay alive.

Texas Rangers' Nathan Eovaldi delivers a pitch in the first inning of Game 2 in an AL wild-card baseball playoff series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
The Texas Rangers' Nathan Eovaldi delivers a pitch in the first inning of Game 2 in the AL wild-card series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Game 3 of Astros vs. Twins

In the other ALDS series, the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins are tied at one game apiece. The Twins took Game 1 in Houston before the Astros tied things up in Game 2.

The series will head to Minnesota on Tuesday for Game 3 and the Twins have their ace, Sonny Gray, on the mound. Gray boasts a 2.79 ERA on the year and threw five innings of no-run baseball in his last outing, the Twins’ 2-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 2 of the wild-card series.

The Astros, the defending World Series champions, will counter with Cristian Javier. Javier was nowhere near as dominant this season as he was during last year’s title run, but the Astros are hoping he recaptures his excellence from last year’s postseason when he allowed just two hits and a single run over 12.2 innings.

The Twins are -135 favorites at BetMGM with the Astros listed as +115 underdogs.

College football: Liberty looking to stay undefeated

Week 7 of the college football season is starting early with three games on the schedule Tuesday night, including undefeated Liberty going on the road to face 5-1 Jacksonville State.

Liberty, at 5-0 and 3-0 in Conference USA play, is a 6.5-point road favorite with the total listed at 56.5 at BetMGM. Jacksonville State is in its first year as an FBS member and is also 3-0 in conference play.

Liberty's Kaidon Salter during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 23 ,2023 in Miami. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)
Liberty's Kaidon Salter during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 23 ,2023 in Miami. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)

Elsewhere in C-USA action, Middle Tennessee is a 3-point home favorite over Louisiana Tech with the total listed at 54.5. MTSU is 1-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play and desperate for a win. Louisiana Tech is 3-4 (2-1 C-USA) and coming off a 35-28 loss to Western Kentucky. WKU led that game 35-7 at halftime and La Tech nearly completed the comeback.

There’s also a fun one in the Sun Belt as Coastal Carolina heads to Boone to face Appalachian State. CCU, in Year 1 under Tim Beck, could really use a win after dropping its first two conference games to Georgia State and Georgia Southern. App State opened Sun Belt play with a dramatic last-second, 54-yard field goal to beat UL Monroe. The Mountaineers are 6-point home favorites with the total listed at 61.5.

What’s the best bet?

I'm going to take the points with Coastal Carolina (+6) on the road against App State.

Though I think Coastal has had a pretty significant coaching downgrade going from Jamey Chadwell to Tim Beck, the Chanticleers have enough firepower on offense to make this game interesting. App State is a tough place to play, but Coastal has a major edge at quarterback with Grayson McCall. After losing back-to-back games in conference play, I like this spot for CCU to keep it close in Boone.