Best Bet for Surprise Rubber Game Between A's & Rangers

Steven Suarez

Sunday, July 27, 2014 2:56 PM GMT

Sunday, Jul. 27, 2014 2:56 PM GMT

The Athletics recovered some pride by winning fairly comfortably last night and now have a chance to win the series should they get another victory tonight. Should we back Oakland again with our MLB picks? 

Odds Overview
If you're searching for the biggest MLB betting favorite on the board for Sunday, look no further. The Athletics are priced out at over -200 to secure another win in Arlington, leaving the sputtering Rangers at +185.

The O/U for tonight is currently listed at nine runs.

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Oakland Athletics (Kazmir)
It's been a terrific season for the Athletics so far and they currently have the best record in all of baseball. Heading into tonight, they've gone 64-39 overall.

Thing is, the Angels have the second-best mark and are only two games back in the American League West, meaning there's no room to relax for Oakland. They need to keep playing at a high level in order to capture the division crown.

The Athletics were able to even up the series last night, winning 5-1 thanks to a solid start from Sonny Gray. Now the road team can secure the series victory, with Scott Kazmir set to take the bump.

Kazmir has been all Oakland could have asked for and more in his first season with the ballclub. The southpaw has gone 11-3 with a 2.32 ERA and 0.99 WHIP thus far and has allowed one or fewer earned runs in four consecutive starts.

Though he hasn't been quite as dominant on the road (3.15 ERA as opposed to 1.54 ERA at home), Kazmir should be able to post another quality outing tonight against the disappointing Rangers. In three July starts so far he's gone 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA, while striking out 23 and walking only four in 21 total innings

 

Texas Rangers (Mikolas)
There's not much to say about Texas that hasn't already been said. They've been beyond bad this season  and surely hold the mantle of being the most disappointing team in the majors so far.

Coming in to tonight, the Rangers have gone 3-7 over their past 10 games. They're still in last place in the American League West, a shocking thought considering they were an MLB betting favorite before the season started.

Pitching has truly been the downfall for this team. They rank 29th in team ERA (4.81) and dead last in quality starts (36), WHIP (1.48) and batting average against (.283).

Miles Mikolas embodies those struggles quite well. He owns a 7.48 ERA and 1.52 WHIP through his first four starts, with his career numbers now at a 5.01 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Texas has dealt with numerous injuries throughout the year and therefore have to rely on unreliable options such as Mikolas.

That said, the right-hander did have his best outing his last time out, holding the Yankees to four hits and two runs in a 4-2 win in the Bronx. Perhaps this will be the start of a turnaround for the 25-year old, but we're not exactly keeping our hopes high.

 

MLB Pick
We feel it's in our best interest to put our faith in Oakland once more. They're simply the much better baseball team from top to bottom and have proven that time and time again this season.

The pitching edge is obviously in the Athletics' favor, while it only helps our cause that they've recorded one of the better road marks (30-22) in the MLB.

Meanwhile, Texas will trot out a guy that's surrendered 21 hits and 13 earned runs in his first two starts at home. We're banking on another Oakland victory and will try to maximize the value by backing them on the run-line yet again with our MLB pick.

Free MLB Pick: Athletics -1.5 (-120)

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