Texas Rangers (64-63 SU, 72-55 RL, 57-67-3 O/U) vs. Oakland A’s (55-72 SU, 65-62 RL, 67-56-4 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 26, 2017, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California, 4:05 pm ET
Lines: Texas -111, Oakland +101; Over/Under: 9
It’s the continuation of a series between a pair of AL West foes meeting up in Northern California. The Texas Rangers play the second of three games against the Oakland A’s Saturday afternoon. Texas closed their series on the road against the Angels winners of three of four after a 3-0 win Thursday night. Oakland lost the rubber game of their three game road set with the Orioles, falling 8-7 in 12 innings Wednesday afternoon. The pitching matchup for Friday’s opener saw Nick Martinez get the call for the Rangers against the A’s Kendall Graveman. First pitch was set for 10:05 pm ET.
Texas Rangers Climbing Wild Card Ladder
Texas came up the big winner Thursday night as their win, coupled with the Twins’ loss, helped them gain ground in the wild card picture. The Rangers entered Friday within a game of the second wild card spot. Texas finished with only five hits in the game Thursday night but it was enough to put one in the win column. Drew Robinson hit a two-run homer, his fourth of the year, while Mike Napoli added a solo shot, his 27th, to account for the Rangers offense. Martin Perez (9-10) made it stand up as he threw seven scoreless frames, allowing seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Ricky Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his first save of the year.
Cole Hamels makes his 17th start of the season for the Rangers. He missed nearly two months earlier this season with a strained oblique. Hamels is 9-1 with a 3.42 ERA, a 1.082 WHIP, 33 walks and 65 strikeouts over 105.1 innings of work. He won his last start, which was Monday on the road against the Angels. Hamels tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a 5-3 Rangers victory. He is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, nine walks and 12 strikeouts over 20 innings in his last three starts. Hamels is 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.366 WHIP over 33.2 innings in five career starts against the A’s. He is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and a 1.322 WHIP over 19.2 innings in his three starts at the O.co Coliseum in his career.
Oakland A’s Try to Spoil Texas’s Chances
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 Wednesday 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.
Sean Manaea takes the mound for the A’s as he makes his 24th start of the year. He is 8-8 with a 4.58 ERA, a 1.361 WHIP, 43 walks and 114 strikeouts over 125.2 innings of work this season. Manaea took the loss as he received no run support in his last start, which was on the road against the Astros last Friday. He allowed three runs on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts over six innings in a 3-1 Oakland defeat. Manaea is 0-2 with a miserable 13.03 ERA, a 2.28 WHIP, four walks and four strikeouts over 9.2 innings in his last three starts. This is his sixth career start against the Rangers in this contest: he is 1-2 with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.207 WHIP over 29 innings of work. Manaea is 9-6 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.248 WHIP over 141 innings in his 25 career appearances, 24 starts, at the O.co Coliseum.
- Rangers are 6-1 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a left-handed starter
- Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a left-handed starter
- Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning record
- Athletics are 1-6 in their last 7 home games vs. a left-handed starter
The A’s are left with little inspiration other than to be a thorn in the side of their opposition the rest of the way. That’s not exactly the best way to fire a team up for the final month plus of the season. Texas has pushed itself right back into the wild card race but they have to take advantage of games against mediocre teams like Oakland. Hamels is on a roll with wins in four straight starts while Manaea has been beaten up of late. Take the Rangers to keep moving forward as they take this contest.