Nolan Ryan picks Rangers in six games

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Showing apparently little confidence in his ragtag group of ballplayers, Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said Monday that his team would lose twice to the Cardinals before eventually winning the World Series in six games.

Ryan made the predicion on the ESPN Dallas “Galloway & Company” radio show.

Even though six of the last seven World Series have ended in four or five games, Ryan doesn’t think his team has what it takes to pull off such a feat and win the championship in front of the home fans in Arlington. Games 6 and 7 of the World Series are scheduled to be played at Busch Stadium.

The starters for Game 6 have yet to be announced, but it should be a rematch of Game 2, also in St. Louis. The Cardinals are expected to go with Jaime Garcia then. The Rangers figure to use either Derek Holland or Colby Lewis, with the other scheduled for Games 3 & 7.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.