Rangers at Athletics Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 8/2/2013
Interesting trade deadline involving the two AL West contenders, the Texas Rangers and Oakland A's. The Rangers did their big move before the deadline in landing Matt Garza, but the offense is massively underperforming, and there was the expectation that Texas would add a bat. That was especially true with the expectation that top power hitter Nelson Cruz may be suspended in the Biogenesis mess. As of this writing it hasn't come down, and there's some talk that Cruz may appeal and thus be allowed to play perhaps the rest of the season because appeals take so long.
Oakland, meanwhile, was reportedly in big on Jake Peavy but wouldn't trade any of its top prospects to get him. It has a potential suspension guy in ace Bartolo Colon, but reports are he may get a pass because he served 50 games last year. The A's did make one deal to bolster their infield in dealing for the Angels' Alberto Callaspo. He played at third this season for the Halos but will play mostly second with Oakland. He's a minor upgrade and more depth than anything.
Remember that there can still be trades; it's just that players must clear waivers or the teams that claim players have to work out a deal with the player they claimed. So in a way Texas is in a better position than Oakland because the Rangers are further down in the standings. Thus, they would have a higher waiver claim than the A's and could block any potential moves. The Yankees are masters at this. If the claimed player isn't waived or traded, the team must take him back. This is how the White Sox got Alex Rios from the Blue Jays essentially for free a few years ago.
Rangers at Athletics Betting Story Lines
Texas will be at a disadvantage for sure as it had to play a home makeup game against Arizona on Thursday night before flying West. The Rangers enter that off a three-game sweep of the now officially dead Angels. Oakland was off Thursday after losing two of three at home against the Blue Jays.
The A's start lefty Tommy Milone (9-8, 4.10) in Friday's opener. He had one of his best starts of the season last time out, allowing just a run on four hits in seven innings against the Angels. Oakland has won five of his past six starts. One of Milone's worst starts of the year was June 19 at Texas when the Rangers tagged him for six runs and eight hits in 5.1 innings. He's 0-3 with a 4.24 career against Texas. Definitely take an Adrian Beltre hitting prop here. First of all, he’s red hot. Second, he's batting .417 with two homers in 12 at-bats off Milone. Elvis Andrus is also batting .417 in 12 at-bats.
Texas counters with righty Alexi Ogando (4-3, 3.05). He is 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA in two starts since coming off the disabled list. The Rangers have lost both starts. He faced Oakland last on May 15, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings of a 6-2 victory. Oakland's Josh Reddick missed Wednesday's game after taking a knee to the head in a collision on Tuesday. Apparently there is no concussion and he's fine. So he will be in the lineup if at all possible because he's 3-for-6 with a homer and three RBI off Ogando. Jed Lowrie is the hottest A's hitter, batting .414 with six RBI in the past seven games. He's 1-for-6 in his career off Ogando. A's catcher John Jaso is on the seven-day concussion disabled list and likely won't play this weekend even though he was eligible to return Thursday.
Rangers at Athletics MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the A's opened at -132 and the Rangers at +122 with a total of 7 (“over” -125 favorite). All Rangers trends entering Thursday: Texas is 38-64-6 “over/under” (21-28-3 on road) and 47-61 on the runline. Oakland is 53-53-2 O/U (25-27 at home) and 56-52 on the runline.
Texas is 0-4 in its past four road games as well as road games against teams with winning records. Texas is 5-1 in Ogando's past six series openers. It is 4-1 in his past five Friday starts. Oakland is 5-1 in its past six against righty starters. The A's are 7-1 in Milone's past eight series openers. They are 4-1 in his past five at home. The under is 6-1-1 in the Rangers' past eight road games. The under is 10-1-2 in Ogando's past 13 starts. It is 14-2 in its past 16 road starts. The under is 6-0 in Oakland's past six against teams with a winning record. Texas is 2-5 in the past seven in Oakland. The under is 6-2 in the past eight meetings there.
Rangers at Athletics Picks and Betting Predictions
I'm just not sure how Texas will score enough, especially if Cruz is out. I fully expect the suspensions to be handed down by Friday. Even if he appeals, the Rangers remain without Lance Berkman, who might retire. Plus, guys like Mitch Moreland and David Murphy are struggling. Still can't believe GM Jon Daniels didn't add a bat (maybe he gets Rios through a waiver claim and trade this month). Add in the overnight travel and possible Cruz suspension, and you have to like the A's. Not a big fan of either pitcher so lean over.
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