Texas Rangers (63-63 SU, 71-55 RL, 57-66-3 O/U) vs. Oakland A’s (55-72 SU, 65-62 RL, 67-56-4 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 25, 2017, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California, 10:05 pm ET
Lines: Oakland -116, Texas +106; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the opening game of a series between a pair of AL West foes meeting up in Northern California. The Texas Rangers play the first of three games against the Oakland A’s Friday night. Texas closed their four game series on the road against the Angels looking to win that series: they took a 7-5, 10 inning win in Wednesday night’s contest. Oakland lost the rubber game of their three game road set with the Orioles, falling 8-7 in 12 innings Wednesday afternoon. The Rangers swept the last series between the teams, which came May 12-14 in Arlington.
Texas Rangers Trying to Make Up Ground in AL Wild Card Race
Texas won for the seventh time in 10 games as they picked up the win in Wednesday’s third game of the series. The Rangers entered Thursday within two games of the second wild card spot currently held by the Twins. Texas got three hits from both Robinson Chirinos (two runs, two RBI) and Adrian Beltre (two runs, two RBI) in the win. Beltre (his 15th and 16th) and Chirinos (his 15th) homered in the contest. Andrew Cashner recorded a no-decision after allowing four runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts over six innings. Alex Claudio (3-1) got the win with two scoreless frames of relief while Tony Barnette worked the 10th for his first save of the year.
A.J. Griffin is expected to make his 13th start of the year for the Rangers in this contest. He missed more than two months earlier this season with a left intercostal strain. Griffin is 6-4 with a 5.10 ERA, a 1.267 WHIP, 21 walks and 49 strikeouts over 60 innings of work this season. He picked up the win in his last outing, which came at home against the White Sox Sunday. Griffin gave up three runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts over five innings in a 3-2 Rangers loss. Griffin is 1-2 with a 4.80 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP, eight walks and 10 strikeouts over 15 innings in his last three starts. He makes his fourth career start against the A’s: he is 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA and a 1.256 WHIP over 14.1 innings of work. Griffin is 11-4 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.077 WHIP over 152.1 innings in 25 career starts at the O.co Coliseum.
Oakland A’s Still Looking for Future Cornerstones
Oakland has little to play for as far as the rest of this season goes: it’s all about evaluating young talent for the future. The A’s managed to snap Orioles closer Zach Britton’s record of 60 consecutive saves but couldn’t get the win. Boog Powell (two runs) and Marcus Semien (run, two RBI) each had three hits for Oakland while Matt Olson (RBI) and Bruce Maxwell (RBI) each added a pair of hits. Daniel Gossett recorded a no-decision after throwing five innings: he allowed five runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Simon Castro (1-2) took the loss as he allowed a run on one hit with a walk and three strikeouts over two innings of relief.
Kendall Graveman takes the mound for the 13th time this season for Oakland in this contest. He is 3-4 with a 4.54 ERA, a 1.411 WHIP with 20 walks against 45 strikeouts over 67.1 innings of work this season. He missed two and a half months earlier in the season with a right shoulder strain. Graveman took the loss in his last start, which came on the road Saturday against the Astros. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in a 3-0 Oakland defeat. Graveman is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP, five walks and 13 strikeouts over 18.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his seventh career start against the Rangers in this contest. Graveman has a 2-2 record with a 5.20 ERA and a 1.183 WHIP over 36.1 innings of work against them. He is 9-10 with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP over 30 starts totaling 185 innings at the O.co Coliseum in his career.
- Rangers are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 1 of a series
- Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Athletics are 1-5 in Graveman’s last 6 starts following a team loss in their previous game
- Athletics are 0-5 in Graveman’s last 5 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
- Athletics are 0-8 in Graveman’s last 8 starts with 5 days of rest
Texas keeps getting to .500 and then slipping back underneath the mark. The Rangers have to string together a few wins in a row to make up ground in the AL wild card race and to distance themselves from the .500 mark. Oakland dealt away another veteran as Rajai Davis was sent to the Red Sox yesterday. The A’s will continue to give their young players playing time, especially with roster expansion coming next week. It’s a nice chance to evaluate talent but not a foolproof way to win games. Texas gets the nod, even being on the road.