Take Athletics 1.5 on Run-Line & +115 vs. Rangers

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:35 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014 6:35 PM GMT

Betting on the run-line for MLB games can be risky but very rewarding. Today’s Oakland vs. Texas match has inspired this handicapper to bet this way. Find out why here. 

With 4 games remaining in the regular season, MLB’s 10 playoff teams have all but clinched a playoff spot.  That leaves little excitement for the final series of the year, other than some seeding issues that remain at stake. 

One of those issues that needs to be resolved is the Wild Card position of these Oakland A’s.  After playing greater than .600 baseball for much of the season, while authoring the best record in MLB, Oakland has spiraled downward in the last 7 weeks.  For all their issues, however, they remain the greatest margin of victory team in MLB, having outscored the opposition by 151 runs.  Oakland has lost 6 of their last 10 games and enters this matchup on a 2 game losing streak.  Yet, there is still plenty of incentive for Oakland in this contest.  With 4 games remaining in the regular season, Oakland is tied with Kansas City for the first Wild Card spot and leads Seattle by 3 games for the final Wild Card spot.  Plenty of incentive for Oakland in this one!

The Texas Rangers won 90 games each of the previous 4 seasons, the only team in MLB to do so.  A season filled with injuries, however, has dropped the Texas record to 65-93, the worst record in the American League.  This comes despite the fact that, roughly correlating with the dismissal of long-time manager Washington, Texas has won 9/10 and enters on a 4 game win streak.  Unlike Oakland, however, Texas has the highest margin of defeat of any team in MLB at -130 net runs. 

The real standout in this matchup, however, is the respective numbers for today's starting pitchers.  For Texas, Lewis has simply not been the same pitcher after off-season surgery.  For the season, Lewis has a 5.34 ERA.  That, however, is much worse from this mound, where in 15 starts, spanning 83 IP, Lewis has a 6.29 ERA, 1.54 WHIP and .321 BAA.  In his most recent outing, Lewis worked 5 IP, allowing 8 runs on 9 hits in an 8-5 loss to LAA. 

For Oakland, Hammel was acquired from the Cubs on the July 31st trade deadline.  He struggled to acclimate in his first couple of outings.  But in his last 8 starts, Hammel has allowed just 13 runs on 35 hits in 44 2/3 IP for a 2.62 ERA.  That is very solid, if not spectacular. 

Those interested in playing their MLB picks on the run line players take note, 29/38 (76%) of Oakland road wins have come by two or more runs, while 39/46 (85%) Texas home losses have come by 2 or more runs.  Adding confidence to our run line play are the margin victory and defeat numbers quoted above.     

Free MLB Pick: Oakland (Hammel) (-1 ½ R, +115) at Pinnacle Sports

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