Free MLB Picks for Athletics vs. Rangers AL Battle

Jeff Grant

Thursday, September 25, 2014 12:38 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014 12:38 PM GMT

Colby Lewis has struggled on the mound at Globe Life Park in Arlington this season, which should allow the Oakland Athletics to break out offensively against the Texas Rangers Thursday. Which line are we gonna ride with our MLB Picks?

Desperately Holding On
Oakland is a miserable 14-28 in its last 42 games, which is important to consider when making your MLB picks, but it still begins this series tied atop the American League Wild Card standings with the Kansas City Royals.

The Athletics have outscored the Rangers by a combined 40-12 margin in taking five of six meetings at this ballpark in 2014, but they were swept in a three-game home series in the rivalry on Sept 16-18.

MLB handicappers will find that the franchise has dropped 14 of its last 19 contests when playing away from the O.co Coliseum.

 

Showing Some Heart
Texas has put together a solid 12-6 record under interim manager Tim Bogar, which can’t be ignored when looking over the MLB betting lines, considering the club had seven rookies in its starting lineup in a 5-1 victory over Houston Wednesday.

The Rangers have won a season-high six straight home games, while the Athletics enter with a losing 38-39 mark when playing on the road.

It’s important to point out that the squad has produced a dismal 16-37 record in its last 53 games as a home underdog, but it has captured four of its last five contests in that situation.

 

Hammel
Athletics starting pitcher Jason Hammel (10-11, 3.54 ERA) has produced a 2-6 record and 4.52 ERA in 12 games since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 5, while he’s gone 15-34 with a 5.20 ERA in his career after the All-Star break.

The right-hander is 4-9 with a 4.47 ERA in 16 road games—serving up 13 home runs in 92.2 combined frames.

In four career appearances (two starts) versus the Rangers, Hammel has put together a 0-2 mark and 6.19 ERA.

 

Lewis
Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis (10-14, 5.34 ERA) has fallen in defeat in three of his last four efforts, including an 8-5 setback on the road to the Los Angeles Angels last time out, as he surrendered eight runs (seven earned) and nine hits over five innings.

The right-hander is 3-9 with a 6.29 ERA in 15 home games—the second-highest ERA of its kind in team history.

Lewis gave up five runs and 10 hits in 5.1 innings of work in his only outing against the Athletics this season on June 16.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of my suggested free picks, as the 'over' is 8-3 in Lewis’ last 11 starts in this AL West rivalry.

MLB Pick: Over 8.5 at 5Dimes

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