The Oakland Athletics head into Globe Life Field Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET for the second duel in a three-game series with their division rivals, the Texas Rangers. The home team won the first meeting 3-2 and have a 5-3 advantage in the season series.
BETUS has the latest bets on this matchup as well as others throughout the MLB and other sports.
This year has not been everything the Rangers would have hoped for on opening day; they are currently 35-53 and last in the American League West, 18.5 games behind the first-place Houston Astros. The season may only be approaching the halfway mark, but Texas is not playing for much.
The Rangers are in the bottom half for practically every offensive category and are somehow no better on the defensive side. There is not much of a bright side to look at for this team; the closest semblance of a “good sign” is that they have gone 4-4 over their past eight games and are at least hanging around .500 rather than continuing their losing ways that they had grown accustomed to earlier in the season.
The best players for the caboose of the AL West have been Joey Gallo (.237 batting average, 23 home runs, 51 runs batted in), an All-Star reserve and Home Run Derby participant, and Adolis Garcia (.274 BA, 21 HR, 61 RBI), another All-Star reserve.
Mike Foltynewicz (2-8, 5.17 earned run average) will be on the bump for the home team and will need to play around the level he has lately, only allowing an average ERA of 3.60 in his last three starts— two of which came against the Athletics.
Despite their winning record of 50-40, second-best in a tough AL West, the A’s have looked vulnerable lately, only managing four wins in their last 13 contests.
Oakland has cut its teeth on the offensive side of the ball, managing to rank in the top-third for total scoring despite their 20th-best batting average of .233. Similarly, their pitches are not the best at limiting the opposition’s hits, though they bail themselves out of bad situations and are just outside the top-10 in team ERA.
The Athletics’ best player this season has undoubtedly been Matt Olson, a left-handed batter that has hit .283 for 21 homers (tied for eighth in the league) and 57 RBIs, all of which are team-highs. He will be the sole representative of the Athletics in the All-Star game, having been voted in as a reserve first baseman.
Even after missing an opportunity to clutch up the night before, the Athletics first baseman Olson said, “It’s just baseball sometimes,” even if you, “Hit it well – just bad aim.”
A special nomination for team MVP also goes to Lou Trivino, a reliever who has gone 3-3 with a 1.96 ERA and 13 saves in 41.1 innings across the campaign. Though he may feature later in the game, Oakland is expected to give the starting nod to James Kaprielian (4-3, 2.84 ERA).
According to BETUS, the Athletics are -1.5 (+115) favorites, while the Rangers are +1.5 (-135) underdogs at home; the A’s are also -134 on the moneyline to Texas’ +124.
The over/under has been set at 9, with -115 odds on the over and -105 on the under; the teams only accounted for five total runs in their Friday showdown, though with the disparity in their scoring talent, this could fluctuate depending on who goes hot or cold.
This may be controversial, but the Rangers should be expected to win this game. They are ahead in the season series, won game one, are at home, and have been playing better baseball lately.
Oakland is still the superior team, but if styles make fights, the Rangers brand of ball in the past couple of weeks has been better than Oakland’s, who appears to be coasting into the All-Star break.