MLB Picks: Rangers vs. Athletics Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, June 16, 2014 12:58 PM UTC

Monday, Jun. 16, 2014 12:58 PM UTC

Oakland continued to torment Texas ace Yu Darvish Tuesday night, tagging him for seven runs in five innings on its way to a 10-6 victory. We'll try to offer up a winning free MLB pick on this series' rubber match Wednesday afternoon (3:35 pm ET).


18th June
Rangers vs. Athletics Game 3

By: Ron Patrick


Wednesday's Betting Line
As of Wednesday AM Oakland and Sonny Gray were chalked at around -180 over Texas and Nick Tepesch, with a total of 7.5 runs. The A's could also be bet at around +130 on the run line.

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Tuesday Re-Hash
Oakland scored twice in the second inning, once in the third, once in the fourth and once in the fifth, then chased Darvish with three in the sixth to pull away. The A's began the day getting about +105 on the MLB betting board, but eventually went off at around -105.

Also, Tuesday's game, like Monday's, played 'over' its total; the teams have combined to score 38 runs in this series.

Wednesday's Starters
Gray (6-3, 2.93) is nine-for-14 on quality starts this year, but by our tough standards he's also 0 for his last four. Last time out he gave up three runs in six innings against the Yankees, and over his last four starts he's given up 15 ER in 24 innings.

For the season Gray has allowed fewer hits, 77, than innings pitched, 92, walked 32 and whiffed 79. Oakland is 8-6 in Gray's starts, with the totals splitting 6-6.

Gray has already started twice against the Rangers this season, allowing three runs and seven hits in 16 innings; the A's split those two games, and both games played 'under' the totals.

Tepesch (2-2, 3.94) is two-for-six on quality starts, but is coming off his best outing of the year, after holding Seattle scoreless on two hits through 6 1/3 innings last Friday. However, in his two starts prior to that he got nicked for eight ER in less than eight innings against Washington and Cleveland.

On the season Tepesch has allowed 31 hits in 32 innings, walked 13 and struck out 23. Texas is 3-3 in Tepesch's starts, with the totals going 3-2.

Tepesch started once against the A's last year, and got roughed up for six runs in less than four innings, although the Rangers won that game 8-7.

Free Pick for Wednesday
Gray has struggled a bit as of late, while Tepesch is coming off a very nice outing. But our guess is we'll see a reversal of fortunes, to a degree, Wednesday. So we're leaning toward Oakland. And since we like to take chances we'll go with the A's on the run line, getting +130 at 5Dimes, for our free MLB pick for today.


17th June
Rangers vs. Athletics Game 2

By: Ron Patrick


Tuesday's Line
In the early betting action Texas and Yu Darvish were favored by around -115 over Oakland and Tommy Milone, with a total of seven runs. The Rangers could also be found at around +155 giving the run and a half on the run line.

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Monday Re-Hash
Texas broke open a tie game with a touchdown in the fourth inning, later led 11-3, allowed Oakland to get within 11-8, then tacked on three late runs for a 14-8 victory. The Rangers won as +155 dogs on Monday's MLB betting line, and with the wind blowing out to right, helping the teams combine to hit six homers, the game flew 'over' its total of 7.5 runs.

We liked Oakland Monday, and our free pick for Game 1 of this series was the A's on the run line. So while we lost a hypothetical $100, we also saved ourselves about 65 bucks. 

The visiting teams are now 7-0 in this series this season.

Tuesday's Starters
Lefty Milone (4-3, 3.47), by our tough accounting, is only five-for-12 on quality starts this year, in part because we don't consider allowing three runs in six innings a QS (4.50 ERA). He's done that three times this season. But after a rough start Milone has been better as of lately; last time out he held the Angels to one run through 6 2/3 innings, and over his last seven outings he's given up 10 ER in 45 innings.

For the season Milone has allowed 70 hits in 73 innings, walked 21 and struck out 46. Oakland is 6-6 in Milone's starts, with the totals going 6-5.

Since the beginning of last year Milone has started four times against the Rangers, allowing 16 ER in 20 innings; the A's went 1-3 in those games.

Darvish (7-2, 2.11) just threw the first complete-game shutout of his ML career, stifling Miami on six hits, striking out 10 in a 6-0 Texas victory last Wednesday. Darvish is now eight-for-12 on quality starts this season, and five for his last six, giving up eight ER in his last 47 2/3 innings.

On the season Darvish has allowed just 69 hits in 85 innings, walked 27 and whiffed 101. Texas is 10-2 in Darvish's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 7-4 margin.

Darvish has been close to fantastic since coming across the other pond to play in the Majors, but few teams have given him more problems than the A's; in six starts against Oakland since the beginning of last season, including two starts earlier this year, Darvish has allowed 18 ER in 33 1/3 innings. The Rangers are just 1-5 in those six games.

Free Pick for Tuesday
It's difficult to go against Darvish, but in this spot, against this team, that looks like the play. So we'll go with Oakland, at the +100 offered at BetOnline, for today's free MLB pick. 


16th June
Rangers vs. Athletics Game 1

By: Ron Patrick


Rangers-A's Betting Odds
In the early betting on Monday's series opener Oakland and Drew Pomeranz (5-3, 1.90) were favored by around -170 over Texas and Colby Lewis (4-4, 5.74), with a total of eight runs. The A's could also be bet at around +125 giving the run and a half on the run line.

Also, Bovada was listing Oakland at -200 to win this series, with the Rangers getting +160 as dogs on the road.

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Series Set-Up
Oakland just took two of three games at home from the Yankees over the weekend, winning Sunday's rubber match 10-4. The A's have won four of their last five series, and 10 of their last 15 games.

Meanwhile, Texas, the most banged-up team in the Majors this year, just took two of three games in Seattle, missing the sweep by losing Sunday 5-1. Still, the Rangers have won only one of their last five series, and six of their last 15 games.

So Oakland, at 42-27, leads the AL West by 4.5 games over the second-place Angels, while Texas, at 34-35, sits in fourth place, eight games out.

These divisional rivals have split six games so far this season, each sweeping a three-game series on the others' home field. But the A's outscored the Rangers overall 32-16.


Monday's Starters
Pomeranz is only two-for-seven on quality starts this year, but part of that can be attributed to a short leash. And both his official quality outings have come in his last two starts. Last time out he held the Angels scoreless through seven innings, and just before that he limited the Yankees to one ER through seven innings.

For the season Pomeranz has allowed just 38 hits in 52 innings, walked 21 and struck out 44. Oakland is 4-3 in Pomeranz' starts, with the totals tilting toward the 'unders' 5-2.

This will be Pomeranz' first-ever start against Texas.

Lewis is a perfect 0-for-11 on quality starts this season, and has managed to pitch six full innings just once. Last time out he gave up three runs in five innings, with four walks, against Miami, and over his last three starts he's allowed 13 ER and 23 hits in 15 2/3 innings.

On the season Lewis has given up a whopping 82 hits in 58 innings, walked 23 and struck out 49. The Rangers are somehow 6-5 in Lewis' starts, with the totals going 6-4.

This will be Lewis' first start against the A's since 2012, when in two outings he held Oakland to three runs through 13 innings. But that came against a little different lineup than the one he'll face Monday night.

In the comparison of the bullpens for this series the A's rank fourth in ERA at 2.76 while converting 13 of 22 save opportunities, while the Rangers rank 27th in ERA at 4.47 while going 16-for-25 on save chances.


With the Sticks
Texas ranks 10th in team OBP at .326, while averaging 4.2 runs per game. That OBP jumps to a ML-best .350 against left-handed pitching.

Oakland ranks third in both OBP at .333 and in homers with 79, and second in scoring at a healthy 5.1 RPG.


Rangers-A's Betting Trends
Texas has trended toward the 'overs' this year by a 34-30 margin.

The totals have also leaned toward the 'overs' in A's home games this year by 18-13.


Injury Update
The Rangers injury situation can be summed up like this; they're missing about half of what should comprise their pitching staff, and half their everyday lineup. The fact that Texas has managed to stay around the .500 mark is a credit to manager Ron Washington.


Free Pick for Monday
We like Oakland to put an end to the visitors' run in this series, and since we also like to gamble, we'll go with the A's on the run line, at the +126 offered at Pinnacle, for our free MLB pick on Monday's contest. 

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