Texas Rangers (64-64 SU, 72-56 RL, 57-68-3 O/U) vs. Oakland Athletics (56-72 SU, 66-62 RL, 67-57-4 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 4:05 p.m. EST
The Line: Texas -105/Oakland -105. Total: 9.5
The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers will wrap up a three-game series when they meet again at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland on Sunday afternoon. Texas dropped the opener on Friday to end a two-game winning streak. The Athletics have alternated losses and wins dating back to last Saturday.
Mr. 3,000 still raking
The Rangers came up short in their attempt for a third straight win on Friday. Texas began its 10-game road trip by taking three of four from the Angels but then dropped a 3-1 decision to Oakland. Elvis Andrus and Delino DeShields each recorded two hits for the Rangers, who are two games back in the free-for-all that is the race for the American League’s second wild-card spot. Adrian Beltre drove in the lone run for Texas on Friday and is 6-for-19 with seven RBIs over the first five games of the road trip.
Right-hander A.J. Griffin is taking the mound for Texas on Sunday. Griffin is 6-4 with a 5.10 ERA through 15 starts this season. He has turned in just one quality start since mid-May, but he has not been terrible of late. In his last three outings, Griffin has pitched five innings in each one while allowing four runs (to the Mets), one run (to Detroit), and three runs (to the White Sox). The 29-year-old has already faced Oakland more than any other opponent in 2017, with a 1-0 record and a 5.02 ERA in three starts.
Dialing long distance
Oakland managed only four hits in the series opener, with two being home runs off the bat of Khris Davis. But four hits were enough, mainly thanks to Davis. The 29-year-old has hit 36 homers this year–six shy of the career high he set last season–and has gone deep three times in his last three games.
Jharel Cotton will oppose Griffin on Sunday. The right-hander is a disappointing 6-10 with 5.63 ERA in 2017. He at least managed to turn in a quality start in his most recent appearance last weekend, ending a streak of six straight performances with no such start. Cotton went 6.2 innings against the Astros and allowed just two runs on four hits and three walks while getting the win in a 3-2 Athletics’ victory.
The Texas Rangers are:
- 11-4 in their last 15 overall
- 4-1 in their last five road games
- 8-3 in their last 11 games against right-handed starters
The Oakland Athletics are:
- 2-5 in their last seven overall
- 3-7 in their last 10 home games
- 2-6 in their last eight games against teams with winning records
Texas is in fine form, in part thanks to the fact that Beltre continues to belt out hit after hit. He should be able to keep things going against Cotton, who has struggled this season and has not improved much of late. The Rangers are 11-4 in their last 15 overall, 4-1 in their last five on the road, 8-3 in their last 11 against right-handed starters, 6-2 in their last eight against the American League West, and 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Oakland is 2-5 in its last seven overall, 3-7 in its last 10 at home, and 2-6 in its last eight against winning opponents. Look for those trends to continue.