Oakland A’s (74-86 SU, 83-77 RL, 83-72-5 O/U) vs. Texas Rangers (77-83 SU, 87-73 RL, 73-81-6 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, October 1, 2017, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas, 3:05 pm ET
Lines: Texas -144, Oakland +134; Over/Under: 10
A pair of AL West rivals close out their final series of the season down in the Lone Star State. The Oakland A’s are on the road as they conclude a four game series with the Texas Rangers Sunday afternoon. The teams split the first two games with Oakland taking a 4-1 win Thursday night and Texas returning the favor with a 5-3 triumph Friday. The pitching matchup for the third game of the series Saturday saw Daniel Gossett take the hill for the A’s against Texas’s Andrew Cashner. First pitch in the contest was set for 8:05 pm ET.
Oakland A’s Try to Close Season With Win
Oakland went into Saturday’s contest winners of nine of their last 12 games as they’ve closed the season with relative success. The A’s will finish the season in the basement of the AL West but they showed some character down the stretch. Oakland finished the game Friday with seven hits with no player recording more than one. Renato Nunez accounted for the A’s offense with a three-run homer, his first, in the seventh inning of the game. That drew the A’s within 5-3 but they could get no closer in the game. Raul Alcantara (1-2) took the loss as he allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts over 4.1 innings.
Daniel Mengden is projected to make his seventh start of the season for the A’s in this contest. He is 2-2 with a 3.75 ERA, a 1.111 WHIP, eight walks and 21 strikeouts over 36 innings of work. He took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday at home against the Mariners. Mengden threw six innings, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts in a 6-4 A’s loss. He is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA, a 0.77 WHIP, three walks and 14 strikeouts over 22 innings in his last three starts. Mengden is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.364 WHIP over 11 innings in his two career starts against the Rangers. In his lone start at Globe Life Park, back on July 25, 2016, he took the loss. Mengden allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 4.2 innings in an eventual 7-6 A’s loss. He was 2-4 with a 4.17 ERA, a 1.415 WHIP, 18 walks and 40 strikeouts over 41 innings in nine starts with Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League this season.
Texas Rangers Head Into Pivotal Offseason
Texas had high aspirations of making a postseason run but their pitching never seemed to come together. The Rangers have to make some key personnel moves this offseason if they hope to get back to the playoffs. Willie Calhoun (RBI) had three hits to lead Texas Friday night while Nomar Mazara (run, two RBI) added a pair. Shin-soo Choo cracked his 22nd homer of the season for the Rangers in the win. Martin Perez (13-12) picked up the win with a quality start as he allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts over six plus innings. Alex Claudio fanned two in the ninth to pick up his 11th save.
Cole Hamels makes his 24th start of the season for the Rangers. He missed nearly two months earlier this season with a strained oblique. Hamels is 11-5 with a 4.10 ERA, a 1.186 WHIP, 52 walks and 100 strikeouts over 145 innings of work. He took the loss in his last start, which was Tuesday at home against the Astros. Hamels tossed three innings, allowing six runs on six hits hits with four walks and three strikeouts in an eventual 14-3 Rangers drubbing. He is 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, 10 walks and 16 strikeouts over 18.1 innings in his last three starts. Hamels is 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.526 WHIP over six starts covering 38 innings against the A’s in his career. He is 17-3 with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.289 WHIP over 34 starts covering 218 innings at Globe Life Park in his career.
- Athletics are 13-51 in their last 64 road games vs. a left-handed starter
- Rangers are 8-3 in their last 11 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15
The A’s have been strong down the stretch and a revitalized Mengden has helped. After struggling all of last season in the majors, he’s been good in his small sample size this year. Whether he can build on that in 2018 remains to be seen but the fact that he’s had some success has to be a relief for the front office. Hamels continues to pitch well at Globe Life Park: he’s been up and down of late and had a down season thanks to injury but he’s still a solid starter. Look for the Rangers to close the season with a victory here.