Oakland Athletics - Texas Rangers: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 13, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 8:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
Where to watch: NBCSCA, Bally Sports Southwest

Season-to-date 
Athletics: 67-48 (2nd place, AL West)
Rangers: 40-75 (Last place, AL West)

Projected lineups


Athletics:
Mark Canha (R) LF
Starling Marte (R) CF
Matt Olson (L) 1B
Mitch Moreland (L) DH
Josh Harrison (R) 2B
Sean Murphy (R) C
Matt Chapman (R) 3B
Seth Brown (L) RF
Elvis Andrus (R) SS

Rangers:
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R) SS
Yonny Hernandez (S) 3B
Adolis Garcia (R) DH
Nathaniel Lowe (L) 1B
DJ Peters (R) RF
Charlie Culberson (R) LF
Jason Martin (L) CF
Andy Ibanez (R) 2B
Jose Trevino (R) C

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Athletics -165, Rangers +145

Recent form
Athletics: Seven consecutive wins
Rangers: Have lost eight of nine

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Athletics - Rangers preview


Here come the Oakland Athletics.

A seven-game winning streak has put them within striking distance of the Houston Astros for first place in the American League West, and confidence is sky-high after putting up a whopping 17 runs on 14 hits against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, a 17-0 victory.

The A’s will try to push that winning streak to eight when they face the Texas Rangers, whom they swept in a three-game series last weekend at RingCentral Coliseum.

Cole Irvin and Dane Dunning will be the starting pitchers for the A’s and Rangers, respectively. Irvin, the left-handed pitcher, will take the mound Friday night sporting an 8-10 record with a 3.45 ERA. His last outing was part of that three-game Texas sweep; he struck out four in seven innings on Saturday to rebound after a 6.1 IP performance that resulted in a loss against the L.A. Angels on July 31.

At time of publishing, the A’s have clawed within 1.5 games of Hosuton for first place. A struggling weekend against the Minnesota Twins has made the AL West interesting for entertainment purposes. Even though Houston has won consecutive games entering Thursday, the race for first is far from over.

The Rangers’ race for the playoffs ended about three months ago. Texas boasts one of the worst records in the league and went into their three-game finale with the Seattle Mariners faltering late for a series win. Mike Foltynewicz went seven innings, but allowed three runs.

Growing pains have begun for the Rangers after moving on from Joey Gallo, Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy at the trade deadline. While they’ve benefitted from a potential rookie-of-the-year campaign from Adolis Garcia, it may be years before the Rangers are in the top spot of this division again. Life was better when the margin was thin, being one strike away twice from a World Series title. We’ve reached the point of the year where Garcia should be a projected starter because it’s not getting any better.

Trends


Oakland has been dominant as a betting favorite this year, going 48-28, specifically 29-15 (+7.3 units) when the money line is -125 to -175. The under, when at that mark, is 30-14.

If you have friends placing their first bet ever, this might be the time. The A’s are 43-18 in August over the last three years, which seems absurd, but this team has played well at important times. It’s an enticing moneyline pick.

The Rangers, well, that’s another story. They’re 32-62 (-14.3 units) as an underdog in 2021, which tells you all you need to know this season. As long as they don’t send poor Jordan Lyles out there to get tagged for 10 hits again, but even then that logic need not apply. It’s not sunny in Los Angeles for the Rangers these days. Point being, it’s likely going to get ugly come first pitch. Texas newsrooms would clamor for that info. Imagine getting to access USA Today Sports the next day and seeing just nothing but position players pitching the whole game. OK, maybe Shohei Ohtani is the exception. The full list of players used that day would be nuts.

Prediction


It’s hard to trust the Rangers right now. The expectation should be the A’s keep this going. Oakland wins, over cashes.

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