Oakland A’s (73-85 SU, 82-76 RL, 83-70-5 O/U) vs. Texas Rangers (76-82 SU, 86-72 RL, 73-79-6 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, September 28, 2017, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas, 8:05 pm ET
Lines: Oakland -115, Texas +105; Over/Under: 10.5
A pair of AL West rivals kick off their final series of the season down in the Lone Star State. The Oakland A’s are on the road as they begin a four game series with the Texas Rangers Thursday night. Oakland played the finale of their three game home set with the Mariners Wednesday and avoided a sweep with a 6-5 win. Texas finished up a three game series at home with the Astros Wednesday afternoon and was swept as they were clubbed 12-2. The A’s swept the last series between the teams, which came September 22-24 in Oakland.
Oakland A’s Try to Finish Season on Positive Note
Oakland was on a roll before dropping their last two games: the A’s had reeled off seven straight victories before that. The A’s are stuck in the cellar in the AL West but they at least showed some grit down the stretch and gained experience for some of their younger guys. Matt Joyce (run, RBI) had three hits to lead Oakland, all of which were doubles. Mark Canha (two RBI) hit a solo homer, his fifth of the year, to give the A’s a walk-off win. Kendall Graveman recorded a no-decision after allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts over six innings. Blake Treinen (3-4) picked up the win in relief by throwing a scoreless ninth.
Sean Manaea takes the mound for the A’s as he makes his 29th start of the year. He is 11-10 with a 4.56 ERA, a 1.421 WHIP, 52 walks and 134 strikeouts over 152 innings of work this season. Manaea picked up the win in his last start, which was on the road against the Phillies back on September 17. He allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts over five innings in a 6-3 Oakland victory. Manaea is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA, a 1.84 WHIP, five walks and 14 strikeouts over 14.2 innings in his last three starts. This is his seventh career start against the Rangers in this contest: he is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.265 WHIP over 34 innings of work. Manaea is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA and a 1.389 WHIP over 18 innings in his three career starts at Globe Life Park.
Texas Rangers Slumping As Season Comes to Close
Texas lost their sixth straight game and they were hammered in all three games against the Astros. The Rangers were outscored 37-7 in the three game set. Texas trailed just 4-2 after five innings before giving up seven in the sixth and you could turn the lights out from there. Willie Calhoun (run, RBI), Delino DeShields Jr. and Elvis Andrus each had two hits for the Rangers in the loss. Calhoun (his first) and Drew Robinson (his sixth) each hit solo homers to account for Texas’s offense. Nick Martinez (3-8) took the loss as he allowed six runs on 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts over five plus innings of work.
Miguel Gonzalez is on the mound for his 27th start of the season overall and his fifth for the Rangers after coming over from the White Sox. He is 8-12 with a 4.62 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP, 54 walks and 95 strikeouts over 150 innings of work. Gonzalez took the loss in his last start, which came Saturday on the road against the A’s. He allowed one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts over six innings in a 1-0 Texas loss. Gonzalez is 1-2 with a 6.08 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, five walks and eight strikeouts over 13.1 innings in his last three starts. He is 0-2 with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.216 WHIP over 24.1 innings in his five career appearances, four starts, against the A’s in his career. Gonzalez is 2-3 with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.581 WHIP over 31 innings in six career starts at Globe Life Park.
- Athletics are 4-0 in their last 4 road games
- Athletics are 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing record
- Athletics are 6-0 in their last 6 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- Rangers are 0-6 in their last 6 overall
- Rangers are 0-6 in their last 6 games on grass
- Rangers are 0-6 in their last 6 home games
Oakland was on a roll before running into the Mariners while the Rangers are floundering as the season winds down. Texas was bombed in their three game series against the Astros and they have slumped with six straight losses, guaranteeing them a losing season. Oakland is getting decent production from their younger players down the stretch and that works in their favor. The Rangers are going nowhere and Gonzalez has struggled since coming over. Give the A’s the upper hand in the series opener here.
Pick: Oakland A’s -115
Even with losing the series to the Mariners, the A’s have won eight of their last 10 games, giving them at least something to be happy about heading into the offseason. Texas blew itself out of the wild card picture with six straight losses entering this one as their pitching staff melted down. Outside of Cole Hamels, there hasn’t been a starting pitcher the Rangers could count on consistently. Texas is going to have to find some new arms to add to their rotation in order to try and contend in the AL West going forward.
The under is 5-0-1 in the Athletics’ last 6 overall, 4-0-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a losing record, 5-0-1 in their last 6 on grass, 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30 and 4-0-1 in their last 5 vs. American League West competition. Texas has seen the under go 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record, 7-3 in their last 10 overall and 7-3 in their last 10 on grass. Given Texas’s inability to score recently, this one likely stays under the total as Oakland is no offensive powerhouse either.