Baseball Predictions: Athletics at Rangers Odds and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/13/2013
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox face off this weekend in their final meeting of the season (barring a playoff matchup). In the least surprising thing ever, each game is on national TV, including, as usual, the ESPN Sunday night game (anyone who watches that over 49ers-Seahawks is crazy). I guess it's interesting with the Yankees making a wild-card push and the fact this will be Mariano Rivera's final trip to Fenway Park -- wonder what the Sox get him?
You can have Yankees-Red Sox. The most important series this weekend is Oakland at Texas. The A's take a three-game lead over the Rangers in the AL West into Thursday's action. Oakland finished up a series with a getaway day game in Minnesota before flying out to Dallas. Texas was off. The Rangers will have 14 games left after this series, and the A's 13. The last thing the Rangers want to do again is play in that one-game wild-card playoff. They are looking solid for that top spot, holding down a 2.5-game lead over slumping Tampa Bay, with the Yankees, Indians, Orioles and Royals all in the mix. The top seed hosts that wild-card game, but that didn't work out too well for Texas last year. They had their ace, Yu Darvish, facing Orioles journeyman Joe Saunders but lost 5-1 in the game that sealed Josh Hamilton's exit from Arlington. I guarantee you the Rangers would like to face Tampa Bay the least as the Rays could throw ace David Price in that playoff matchup. Darvish is a fine pitcher, but I'd take Price in that matchup all day. New York, Cleveland and Kansas City don't have that one scary pitcher.
The Rangers can help avoid that game by winning at least two of three this weekend. A sweep would really make things interesting. After this series, Texas has four in Tampa Bay, three at Kansas City and then finishes with three against Houston and three versus the Angels. Oakland has the clear schedule advantage: three vs. the Angels, four vs. Minnesota, three at the Angels, three at Seattle. Oakland is a -300 Sportsbook.ag favorite to win the West with Texas at +220.
Athletics at Rangers Betting Story Lines
The Rangers struggled last September in coughing up the AL West on the season's final day to Oakland and appear to be doing it again. Texas was just swept at home by a Pirates team that had been struggling. It was the Rangers' fourth straight series loss, and they are 2-7 this month after winning 20 games in a terrific August. They were three up in the AL West on Aug. 30 and had the best winning percentage in the American League. Texas has gone 11 consecutive games scoring five runs or fewer. The offense generally goes how Adrian Beltre goes, and he's hitting only .205 with three RBI this month. He hasn't homered since Aug. 28. Alex Rios has been very good this month, batting .378 with three home runs and four steals. He's been worth that trade with the White Sox considering Texas didn't give up much.
Beltre and Co. look to get it going against young A's right-hander Dan Straily (9-7, 4.15). He has followed seven straight starts without a victory by winning his past three. Last time out he had one of his best outings of the year, blanking the Astros on two hits over seven innings, striking out seven. The start before that he allowed two runs and three hits in five innings against Texas. He's 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four starts against the Rangers this year. Beltre is 3-for-11 with an RBI off Straily this year. David Murphy is 3-for-8 with a homer and two RBI. A.J. Pierzynski is 3-for-7 with a home run and seven RBI.
Texas counters with lefty Derek Holland (9-8, 3.17). He was rocked for eight runs (four earned) and eight hits in 5.2 innings last time out against the Angels. He has just one victory since the all-star break despite a solid 3.44 ERA. He's 1-1 with the same 3.44 ERA this year in three starts against Oakland. Yoenis Cespedes has a homer this year off Holland as does Coco Crisp. Jed Lowrie has struggled against Holland, going 1-for-10. Cespedes has it going this month, batting .421 with eight RBI entering Thursday.
Athletics at Rangers MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Rangers opened at -129 and the A's at +119 with a total of 9. All A's trends entering Thursday: Oakland is 72-69-4 “over/under” (38-30-3 on road) and 76-69 on the runline. Texas is 55-83-7 O/U (23-45-3 at home) and 63-82 on the runline.
The A's are 4-1 in their past five against lefty starters. They are 1-4 in Straily's past five series-opening starts. Texas is 2-7 in its past nine following an off day. The Rangers are 1-4 in their past five home games against teams with a winning record. They are 0-4 in their past four against righty starters. Texas is 2-6 in Holland's past eight home starts. The over is 5-0 in Oakland's past five road games against teams with a winning record. The over is 6-1 in the Athletics' past seven Friday games. The under is 8-3-1 in Straily's past 12 starts. The under is 4-0-1 in Holland's past five against teams with a winning record. The Rangers are 6-1 in Holland's past seven against Oakland. The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
Baseball Predictions: Athletics at Rangers Betting Picks
Oakland took two of three at home against Texas the last time they met. However, the Rangers lead the season series 9-7. I think the Rangers have much more urgency here and also have the advantage of being rested with the A's playing on Thursday. Straily also hasn't been very good this year for the most part against teams not named Houston. Take Texas, also on the runline, and the under. Rangers win 6-2.
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