The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers lock horns Friday night to open a three-game series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, so here’s the best betting pick for this American League West showdown along with the latest odds update on BetOnline Sportsbook.
Oakland is 8-5 against Texas in 2021, and the A’s are unbeaten in five straight encounters with the Strangers. The Athletics are listed as -171 road favorites for Friday’s clash, while the Rangers are +157 underdogs with a total of 8.5 runs.
The A’s are hot
The Oakland Athletics searched for their seventh straight victory on Thursday afternoon, trying to sweep a three-game set at Progressive Field in Cleveland (they had an 11-0 lead in the top of the sixth). The A’s beat the Indians 6-3 last Wednesday to improve to 66-48 on the season and record their tenth victory in the last 12 games overall.
Oakland has scored 63 runs during that 12-game span while posting a decent .249/.356/.402 batting line. On the other side of the ball, the A’s have registered a sparkly 2.27 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and a .196 batting average against.
Cole Irvin will take the hill Friday, looking for his second straight win. Last Saturday, the 27-year-old left-hander tossed seven frames of a two-run ball in a 12-3 victory to the Rangers. He’s 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 13/3 K/BB ratio in three starts (17 innings) against Texas in 2021.
Irvin is 8-10 on the season and sports a nice 3.45 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The lefty has recorded a 2.97 ERA and a .215 batting average against over his previous six starts.
The Rangers are a disaster
Excluding their Thursday’s closer of a three-game set at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, the Texas Rangers have dropped seven of their last eight games overall. They beat the Mariners 5-4 in ten innings last Tuesday but returned to the losing track with a 2-1 loss on Wednesday.
Since the All-Star break, the Strangers have registered the fourth-highest ERA in the majors (5.74) while going 5-19 in the process. On the other side of the ball, they’ve scored a paltry 57 runs through 24 games while slashing a horrible .179/.237/.301.
Dane Dunning will take the mound Friday, and he’s been terrific since late June, posting a 3-1 record in his previous six starts to go with a 2.70 ERA and a .210 batting average against. Last time out, the 26-year-old righty has thrown five frames of a one-run ball in a 4-1 win to the Los Angeles Angels.
Dunning will return from a short stint on the IL caused by an ankle injury. He’s 5-7 on the season, sporting a 4.07 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. Dane met the A’s once in July and fired four scoreless innings to take a no-decision in an 8-3 victory.
- 10-2 in the last 12 games overall
- 5-0 in the last five games against Texas
- 5-19 in the last 24 games overall
- 6-12 in the last 18 home tilts against Oakland
Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers Pick
The A’s were second in the AL West on Thursday, trailing just a couple of games behind the Astros while holding the top wild card in the American League. Oakland needs to stay hot on both sides of the ball, and the A’s have enough firepower to record their sixth consecutive win over the hapless Rangers.
Texas will have a mountain to climb against the Athletics’ in-from pitching staff. The odds are not attractive, but the visitors look like a slam dunk here.
Pick: Take Oakland Athletics at -171
I’ve mentioned how good Oakland’s pitching is at the moment, and with the toothless Rangers on the other side, we should see a low-scoring affair. Of course, Dane Dunning will have to continue with his solid performance, though the Rangers bullpen has a solid 3.56 ERA in August.
Anyway, I’m expecting the visitors to shut down the Rangers. Texas has scored three or fewer runs in seven of its previous eight outings at any location.
Pick: Go under 8.5 runs at -110