Place Rangers vs. A's MLB Pick Over the Total

Willie Bee

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 12:31 PM GMT

The Rangers and Athletics have seven games remaining against each other, the first three of those in Oakland beginning Tuesday night.  Can Texas upset the A's and the MLB odds?

The hardest working man in show business once sang, "Get some payback!" The Texas Rangers hope to follow James Brown's advice this week when they reach Oakland for a 3-game set against the Athletics.

Long out of the American League playoff hunt and currently locked in a battle with the San Diego Padres for the first pick in next June's draft, the Rangers now turn their attention to trying to at least wreck Oakland's postseason hopes. They'll have to do so as pronounced underdogs in the series, the A's on a -240 or better moneyline for Game 1 behind Scott Kazmir while Texas sends Nick Tepesch to the mound.

SBR's live MLB odds is showing a mix of 7 and 7.5 run totals for the 10:05 PM (ET) matchup at O.co Coliseum.

Tuesday's tilt is the first of seven games left between the clubs this year, so Texas has an opportunity to gain a little revenge after Oakland all wrecked each of the past two seasons for the Rangers. The A's swept Texas in the final three games of 2012 to win the AL West and send the Rangers to the AL Wild Card Game, where they promptly lost to Baltimore.

Oakland also broomed Texas in the clubs' final meeting of 2013, those three losses eventually forcing the Rangers into an extra game against the Tampa Bay Rays to decide the final AL wild card spot.

 

Clubs Have Split Last 44 Played In Oakland
Even with those two sweeps, this is still a fairly level series the past five years. Texas owns a 45-43 advantage since 2010 with the clubs 22-22 in Oakland during that time. The A's have a 7-5 edge in the 2014 matchups, but the Rangers have won four of the six in Oakland where totals have run 4-2 O/U.

Tim Bogar has the interim manager tag with Texas (57-92, -32.7 units, 64-75-10 O/U/P) after Ron Washington abruptly resigned on Sept. 5 for personal reasons. The Rangers immediately lost five of six under Bogar, but dealt Atlanta a crushing blow this past weekend by sweeping the Braves out of Arlington, winning all three as the underdog.

Oakland (83-66, -5.2 units, 70-70-9 O/U/P) is 10.5 games behind the Angels in the AL West with a 1-game lead over Kansas City at the top of the AL Wild Card standings to begin this series. The Athletics are returning home from a 7-game road trip through Chicago and Seattle, needing wins in the final two games against the Mariners to finish 3-4 on the journey. They've been in a tailspin since late-August, losing 12 of their last 17 games.

 

Kazmir Seeking 3rd Win of '14 Vs. Texas
The Rangers have dropped Tepesch's last four assignments, and stand 7-12 in 2014 when he starts. The 2nd-year major leaguer out of Missouri has also lost both of his appearances vs. the A's, each of those outings coming against Sonny Gray and Tepesch sporting a 5.73 ERA in 11 innings.

Kazmir appears to have corrected a few flaws that saw him get hammered by the Angels twice to end the month of August. He was outstanding last Thursday against the White Sox, but took a 1-0 loss when his offense couldn't muster anything against Chicago's Chris Sale.  The southpaw has beaten Texas twice already this season, getting nine runs of support in each assignment.

A few clouds will creep in above the coliseum during the game, but otherwise a very nice evening for baseball in the 94621. The game should be played in the mid-to-upper 60s on the thermometer with an 8-10 mph WNW breeze (3B to RF corner).

The Rangers suck, but laying up to $2.50 on a shaky A's bunch right now? No thanks. I'm looking at the total for my free MLB pick, and heading 'over' for the opener of this series.

My Free MLB Pick: Rangers-Athletics Over 7.5 (+100) at Pinnacle

Season: 120-116 (+3.15)

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