Cole Hamels (10-8, 3.67 ERA), attemping to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, takes the hill for the Texas Rangers (82-69) as they square off against Chris Bassitt (1-6, 2.82 ERA) and the Oakland Athletics (64-88) in the last of a three-game series at O.co Coliseum. The Rangers won the last game 10-3 and Texas leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 3:35 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sep. 24 and can be seen on FSSW.
Bassitt pitched 4.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering four runs, striking out one and walking four in an 8-2 defeat to the Mariners. Danny Valencia (.291, 51 Rs, 16 HRs, 61 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Hamels went 7.0 innings, surrendering one run and striking out 12 in a 10-1 win over the Mariners in his last outing. Mitch Moreland (.284, 49 Rs, 23 HRs, 82 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
Texas takes on Oakland as a -148 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at eight runs. The Athletics have recorded an overall money line of -2,841 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 31-50. Oakland has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 13-21 and 30-38 as the underdog and SU respectively. The Athletics have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.8 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.3 runs per game. The Athletics are one of the best in the AL in terms of hits with an impressive 8.7 per game. Oakland's batters do not strike out very often, with only 6.9 per game. Turning to the pitchers, opposing offenses that come to O.co Coliseum have been stifled by the Athletics, who have a team ERA of only 3.46 at home. The Athletics are the third-best team in the AL at limiting hits during home games, allowing only 8.0 hits per game to their opponents this season.
In games where it is the favorite, Texas has a 23-16 record and an overall money line of +2,814. They are 11-8 as the favorite against AL West foes, and 31-36 SU. Offensively, the Rangers have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.5 runs per game by averaging 6.9 during that stretch.
The Athletics lead the season series, 10-8. The Athletics have a bad 14-31 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Hamels takes the mound. Bassitt (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rangers, who have a 52-41 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Tex, O/U - Over
The Athletics hold a 30-39 record this season against teams in the AL West Division. The Rangers' record in these matchups is 32-36.
When leading after 7 innings, Texas is 34-33, while Oakland is 27-40.
The Rangers are coming into this meeting after a high-scoring game where they scored an impressive 10 runs. The Athletics have a 0-12 record when opponents score that many runs or more.
When they are outhit, the Athletics are 10-58. The Rangers have an 18-53 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 21st in home runs, Oakland has hit 137 this season. Texas ranks 13th with 159 home runs.
Ranking seventh, Texas is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.69 per game. Oakland ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.72.
Ranking 24th, Oakland is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.709). Texas ranks in the top 10 at 10th with an OPS of .738.
When the Rangers allow at least one home run, they are 41-52. When the Athletics allow one or more homers, they have a 26-67 record.