In today's perception/reality play of the day, we make a contrary play with a series dominator with the reality that we have the hotter team and the better team playing against each other in tonight's Athletics vs. Rangers.
Oakland A’s (Graveman) vs. Texas Rangers (W. Rodriguez) 8:05 ET
The Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers meet for the 2nd of their 3-game early week set at Globe Life Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 ET. Since the Oakland resurgence several years ago, Oakland has dominated this series at this site, going 13-4, averaging 5.8 RPG. The A’s added to that record last night with an 8-6 victory in Game 1 of this series. In late May, I authored an article entitled “Buy and Sell OPS Teams.” The premise of the article was that teams who had a combined pitching and batting OPS rating that was notably better than their W/L record would be a good “BUY” team, as their record began to match their OPS numbers. We caught the turn just right for the A’s, who following a 2-14 slide, dipped to a major league worst (14-30). Since that time, however, Oakland has begun to return to form with an 18-11 mark, including 7-2 recently. In their last 12 starts, Oakland has scored 78 runs, averaging 6.0 RPG.
The Rangers are another team that has outperformed expectations, posting a 37-34 record. The pitching staff has been quite consistent, posting quality starts in 17/18 games. But what goes up, must come down in MLB! So it is with these Texas Rangers, who have lost 3 consecutive outings, following a 21-8 surge. At first glance, it would appear that Wandy Rodriguez was just what Texas needed. After all, the Rangers have won 8 of his 11 starts, where he has a solid 3.20 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Breaking down his performance in home/road splits is most illuminating. At Globe Life Park, Rodriguez is 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.59 home WHIP, a pure PLAY AGAINST. With the Rangers on a 3-game losing streak, it is an ideal time to fade Rodriguez and Texas.
Following a mediocre start, Graveman has reached the potential that was expected of him. For the season, Oakland is just 5-5 in 10 Graveman starts in which he has a 4.02 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Poor support has led to a 0-2 record for Graveman in his previous 3 starts. Yet, over that span, Graveman has a 1.64 ERA. Of equal importance is that Graveman has pitched better on the road where Oakland has won 4 of his 6 starts and he has a 1.30 WHIP.
The 14-30 start to the season had many fans writing off Oakland for the year. Nothing could be further from the truth! Remember that this is a team, who with 278 wins the previous 3 seasons, had the most victories in the majors in that timeframe. Too early to give up on Oakland this season with the reality that they can actually climb back into the race. Playing against a fading Texas team with your MLB picks tonight is an ideal way to continue their rebirth.
MLB Pick: Take Oakland A’s -105 at Bet365