The Oakland Athletics (86-66) and Texas Rangers (90-62) are set to open up an important American League West series on Monday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 ET
Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
Oakland captured a 5-4 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday afternoon, as the ball club demonstrated some resolve after losing the previous two games of the series in extra innings. “A couple of dramatic games certainly make the next game seem like it’s a little more important,” commented Athletics manager Bob Melvin. The Athletics are still holding onto the second AL Wild Card spot, as it will play tonight’s opponent seven times in the final 10 games. Oakland is 25-22 versus divisional foes, something to consider when making your MLB baseball picks.
Athletics starting pitcher Daniel Straily (2-1, 4.13 ERA) suffered his first loss in the big leagues last time out, giving up four runs and five hits over 4.2 innings in a 9-5 home setback to the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two road outings, issuing three walks and striking out 10 batters in 13 frames. Straily will be making his first career appearance against the Rangers.
Texas returns home after a 3-3 road trip, which included a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. The Rangers can actually win the division with a sweep of this four-game series, but the clubhouse isn’t looking to far ahead. “We just want to finish with a nice push,” stated Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. This season series has been very tight, with each side winning six games. Texas is 19-10 as a home favorite of -150 to -200, while the “under” is 16-12 in that situation.
Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland (11-6, 4.42 ERA) came away with a 6-2 road win over the Los Angeles Angels in his last effort, giving up two runs and six hits over seven frames. The left-hander is 5-4 with a 5.12 ERA in 14 home appearances (13 starts), issuing 24 walks and striking out 75 batters in 84.1 combined innings. In 10 career games (seven starts) versus the Athletics, Holland has compiled a 4-1 record and 2.24 ERA, including a 6-3 road win on June 5.
In making your MLB predictions for Monday, I suggest backing the Rangers due to their 20-6 record in Holland’s last 26 home starts versus a team with a winning record, while the Athletics are 2-5 as a road underdog.