Colby Lewis (14-8, 4.68 ERA) and the Texas Rangers (73-65) meet Jesse Chavez (7-14, 4.17 ERA) and the Oakland Athletics (60-80) in the first of a three-game division series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The game gets underway at 8:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 11 and will air on CSCA and FSSW.
In his last start, Lewis pitched 5.0 innings, allowing six runs (one unearned), striking out five and walking three in a 7-0 loss to the Angels. Mitch Moreland (.287, 42 Rs, 19 HRs, 69 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI. The Athletics were also unsuccessful the last time Chavez pitched. He struggled, going 2.0 innings, allowing five runs, striking out two and walking five in an 8-3 loss to the Mariners. Ben Zobrist (.287, 67 Rs, 12 HRs, 51 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Athletics, going 2 for 4 Wednesday with two runs, one home run, and one RBI.
Texas is a -155 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at nine runs. The Rangers are 17-13 as the favorite and have an overall money line of +2,439. They are 3-1 as the favorite over their last 10 games. Within their division, Texas's offense has been struggling. Texas has only averaged 3.9 runs per game compared to its 4.4 season average. Texas's pitchers struggle within their division. The Rangers have given up an average of 5.1 runs to intra-division opponents, well over their defense's season average of 4.6.
On the other side, the Athletics have a subpar record of 27-44 when they are the underdog and are -2,741 overall with the money line. Against divisional foes, they are 28-33 SU and 11-16 as the underdog. During the last 10 games, they averaged 5.6 runs per game, above their 4.2 season average. Oakland is one of the top hitting teams in the AL with an average of 8.8 hits per contest. Oakland has an eye for the strike zone on the road, ranking 2.9 in the AL with fourth walks per game. The last 10 games have really brought the worst out of the Oakland pitchers. They allowed 6.6 runs per game during that span, which is higher than their season average of 4.2.
The Athletics had the upper hand against the Rangers in their previous 13 games this season, earning a 9-4 record. The Rangers will take on a right-hander (Chavez) in this game and have a 49-39 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Athletics will be the right-hander Lewis. They sport a 47-52 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - Tex, O/U - Over
The Rangers hold a 23-32 record this season against teams in the AL West Division. The Athletics' record in these matchups is 28-33.
Oakland has won 43% (26-35) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Texas has won 46% (28-33) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Athletics are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Rangers have a record of 30-24 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Athletics are 45-21. The Rangers have a 53-9 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 14th, Oakland sits in the top half of the league in runs, scoring 587 this season. Texas ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 603.
Ranking 16th, Oakland is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 397 this season. Texas ranks in the top half at 13th with 407.
When the Rangers hit at least one home run, they are 54-26. When the Athletics hit at least one homer, they have a 39-40 record.