Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics
The Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics meet for game one of their series in Arlington. The Rangers are -170 favorites over the Athletics with an over/under run total set at 8.5.
The Texas Rangers have the lead in the American League West but it is the only division in baseball that looks to have any kind of a race going on right now as the season winds down to a close. The Rangers are 6-4 in their last 10 games, 44-28 at home this season, and they have a two and a half game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West. As a team Texas is hitting .277 led by Michael Young at .333, Josh Hamilton at .298, Adrian Beltre at .296, and Elvis Andrus at .276. as a team the Rangers pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.90 with the starters at 3.75 and the bullpen at 4.24. For game one against the A’s Texas starts Colby Lewis who has lost his last two decisions, both to the Boston Red Sox. For the season Lewis has allowed 167 hits and 84 earned runs while 143 in 175 innings of work.
The Oakland Athletics have spent the bulk of their season playing out the season and have been long since out of the race for the A.L. West. The Athletics are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 26-46 on the road, and 15.5 games back in the division. As a team Oakland is hitting .246 led by Coco Crisp at .270, Jemile Weeks at .303, and Cliff Pennington at .267. As a team the Athletics pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.70 with the starters at 3.73 and the bullpen at 3.63. For game one at Texas Oakland starts Brandon McCarthy who has won three of his last four starts. For the season McCarthy has allowed 143 hits and 54 earned runs while striking out 103 over 142.2 innings of work.
Texas is 6-1 in their last seven games following an off day, 37-15 in their last 52 games as a favorite, and 5-1 in Lewis’ last six starts against the A.L. West. Oakland is 5-2 in their last seven games overall, 1-4 in their last five road games against a team with a winning record, and 8-2 in McCarthy’s last 10 starts. Oakland has lost eight in a row to Texas.
McCarthy looks to be reaching the potential many have thought he has had all along and he should be able to keep this one at least low enough to keep it close. I’m going with the under 8.5.