MLB Baseball: Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 12, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 4:07 p.m. ET
Venue: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Southwest, NBCSCA

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Athletics -195, Rangers +165
Caesars: Athletics -190, Rangers +170

Season record (entering Saturday)
Rangers: 51-89 (Last place, AL West)
Athletics: 77-64 (T-2nd place, AL West)

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Rangers - Athletics preview and analysis

Recent form (entering Saturday)
Rangers: 6-4 in last 10
Athletics: Won 3 straight

The Oakland Athletics will try to keep pace in the American League Wild Card race when they wrap up a three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Sunday in Oakland.

At the time of publishing, Game 2 of the series is still going on, so the standings and playoff implications have not quite changed.

The A’s took the first game of the set, 10-5, on Friday night led by four RBI from All-Star Matt Olson by the fourth inning. Oakland had already scored 10 runs through five innings and wouldn’t need another the rest of the way. Texas tacked on one more in the ninth, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Tony Kemp added a 3-for-5 night, and former Rangers shortstop Elvi Andrus had a 2-for-3 game in the nine spot to pace Oakland, which used six pitchers to wrap up the victory to push its winning streak to three games.

The Athletics trail the Houston Astros by 5.5 games for first place in the American League West and trail the New York Yankees by a whole game for the second AL Wild Card spot. The Toronto Blue Jays are ahead of Oakland in the standings by a half-game.

Baseball has not been fun for the Rangers this season, and one look at the stats will give you an eyesore, so maybe we should leave it be. But Texas did have a four-game winning streak going as some resemblance of momentum, completing a two-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, before losing to Oakland on Friday.

Texas was doubled up in hits (16-8), but Adolis Garcia attributed for a quarter of those hits to go with an RBI. Nevertheless, like it has for most of these matchups away from Globe Life Field, the Rangers were outmatched on the mound like the sad angels they’ve become. Rookie pitcher Glenn Otto did not last long on this night (3.1 IP, 8 ER, 5 strikeouts).

James Kaprielian will be tasked with throwing the game’s first pitch to face Rangers starter Taylor Hearn.


In a weird universe that this is, the Rangers have been able to handle the A’s on many occasions. Even on Saturday, they played Oakland well at home. In this weird instance, the Rangers have upset written over them at a nice line. Rangers win 6-5.

Betting trends

The Rangers are 22-39 (-5.4 net games on the money line) when an underdog of +125 to +175.

The A’s are 34-20 (+4.9 net games) as a favorite at home this season.

Players to watch

Rangers: After a ton of slander, DJ Peters has turned it up for the Rangers the past few weeks. He’s taken his average from .168 to .207 in the matter of 12 games, hitting five home runs in that time.

Athletics: Matt Olson’s lone home run in 18 games came on Friday, but the star has driven in 14 runs with a .277 batting average since Aug. 21.

Projected lineup

Leody Taveras (S) CF
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R) SS
Adolis Garcia (R) RF
DJ Peters (R) LF
Nathaniel Lowe (L) 1B
Nick Solak (R) 2B
Yohel Pozo (R) DH
Jonah Heim (S) C
Charlie Culberson (R) 3B

Josh Harrison (R) 2B
Starling Marte (R) CF
Matt Olson (L) 1B
Matt Chapman (R) 3B
Yan Gomes (R) C
Mark Canha (R) LF
Khris Davis (R) DH
Chad Pinder (R) RF
Elvis Andrus (R) SS

Projected starting pitcher: Taylor Hearn (TEX) vs. James Kaprielian (OAK)

Statistical leaders

Batting average: Nate Lowe (.262)
Hits: Isiah Kiner-Falefa (145)
Home runs: Adolis Garcia (29)
RBI: Adolis Garcia (79)
Stolen bases: Isiah Kiner-Falefa (16)
Wins: Jordan Lyles (8)
Saves: Joe Barlow (4)
ERA: Jordan Lyles (5.43)

Batting average: Matt Olson (.276)
Hits: Matt Olson (135)
Home runs: Matt Olson (32)
RBI: Matt Olson (95)
Stolen bases: Starling Marte (44)
Wins: Frankie Montas (12)
Saves: Lou Trivino (21)
ERA: Chris Bassitt (3.22)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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