Is Betting Oakland A's Over Rangers a Lock Tonight?

Steven Suarez

Saturday, July 26, 2014 2:36 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 26, 2014 2:36 PM UTC

The leaders of the AL West face off against the last place team in the division and we've got our MLB picks ready for viewing. Are we backing Sonny Gray and the Athletics or Nick Tepesch and the Rangers tonight?

Odds Overview
Another heavy road favorite on the board (along with the Dodgers at San Francisco) is Oakland, who is available at right around -190 to get the victory. We can find Texas listed at a price of +175 to +180 for now.

Tonight's O/U is listed at an even nine runs, though there's still plenty of time for those MLB odds to shift.


Oakland Athletics
It's a two-team race in the AL West. The Athletics and Angels have been miles ahead of the rest of the pack and only two games separate them in the standings at the moment.

Oakland was held to one run on seven hits in yesterday's 4-1 loss, as they couldn't figure out Jerome Williams at all. It wasn't the most successful of outings for Jason Hammel (5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) either and he's still search for his first win as a member of the Athletics.

We figure Sonny Gray will fare much better than Hammel tonight. Gray has been a pivotal part of the rotation all year long and currently owns a 11-3 record along with a 2.72 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The future is certainly bright for the former Vanderbilt star, who's only in his second year in the bigs.

Gray has been on quite the run this month, having allowed one or fewer earned runs in four straight starts. He's 4-0 with a 0.95 ERA with 26 strikeouts against eight walks and a .178 opposing batting average in July.

The offense, meanwhile, has been there for the Athletics, despite getting cooled off last night. Oakland is hitting .290 as a team over the last week, with John Jaso and Stephen Vogt batting over .400 in that span and Eric Sogard, Jed Lowrie, Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick and Derek Norris all over .300 in that span.


Texas Rangers
The Rangers are 3-5 through the first eight games of the second half. They lost two of three in Toronto, three of four against the Yankees.

At least Texas was able to kick off this series with Oakland off in style. Jerome Williams pitched six excellent innings (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) and the middle of the order gave the Rangers some timely hits en route to the 4-1 win.

The chances of another Texas win tonight seem unlikely, as Nick Tepesch has been downright bad for the most part this season. Overall he's 3-6 with a 4.87 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.

We'll have to see how Tepesch handles a different schedule, as he had to make a brief appearance in an extra-innings loss to the Yankees four days ago. In the three starts prior to that, Tespech had allowed 20 hits and 14 earned runs over 16 and 1/3 innings.

Hitting wise, the Rangers have been good for an average of .243 over the last seven days. No regular has hit over .300 during that time and that's not a good sign heading into a matchup with an in-form Gray.

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MLB Pick
Once again we're backing the large favorites with our MLB pick today.

It was pretty surprising to see the Athletics lose last night and we don't foresee them dropping another game here. They have the clear-cut pitching advantage with Gray on a roll, and we expect them to make life tough on Tepesch.

Texas has been awful this season, especially at home where they're a poor 19-30. Look for Oakland to get back on track and secure a comfortable win, which would improve their road record to 30-22 in the process.

Free MLB Pick: Athletics -1.5 (-115)

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