Athletics at Rangers: What bettors need to know
Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers (-168, 9.5)
The Texas Rangers can move closer to clinching the American League West crown when they open a pivotal four-game series against the visiting Oakland Athletics on Monday. Texas has a four-game lead over Oakland with 10 to play and can sew up the division by sweeping the Athletics. Oakland can make things interesting by closing the gap this week as the two teams finish the season next week with three games in the Bay Area.
The Athletics have a 2 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for the AL’s second wild card. Oakland has lost five of its last seven games and is 2-4 during a 10-game road trip. The status of Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is still fuzzy due to sinus issues that have affected his vision. Hamilton has missed five consecutive games. The Rangers have won 90 games for the third straight season and sixth time in franchise history. The teams have split 12 games this year.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet California (Oakland), Fox Sports Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Daniel Straily (2-1, 4.13 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Derek Holland (11-6, 4.42)
Straily is making his sixth start of the season. He lost to the Baltimore Orioles in his last outing by allowing four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. Straily has surrendered eight homers in just 28 1/3 innings.
Holland has won four consecutive decisions since his last loss on July 31. He defeated the Los Angeles Angels in his last start when he gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings. Holland has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last four outings. He defeated Oakland on June 5 when he gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to raise his career mark against the Athletics to 4-1 in 10 appearances (seven starts).
* Oakland is 3-11 in its last 14 games in Texas.
* Over is 6-1 in Athletics’ last seven overall.
* Rangers are 5-1 in Holland’s last six starts vs. Athletics.
* Athletics are 4-1 in Straily’s last five starts.
1. Oakland OF Josh Reddick is batting just .138 in September and is hitless in 24 at-bats over the past five games.
2. Rangers C/DH Mike Napoli is batting .389 with three homers in six games since returning from a quadriceps injury.
3. Athletics OF Coco Crisp is questionable due to the bout with pink eye that has forced him to miss five straight starts.