The Oakland Athletics will be looking for more in the state of Texas this weekend. After upsetting the Astros with a 3-1 series win in Houston, the Athletics will be in Arlington for a three-game weekend clash against the Rangers. Their latest win was the biggest upset of all, with Homer Bailey outdueling Justin Verlander for a 3-2 win.
That sounds a bit crazy, especially if someone were to tell you that at the beginning of the season when Bailey was coming off yet another train wreck season. Crazy happens all the time with baseball, so it’s understandable if you watch baseball enough.
Houston must pick themselves up and avoid getting too comfortable down the stretch. With commanding leads in their respective divisions, it’s easy for teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros to get bored. They’re just sitting waiting around for October, while other teams are still doing their best to get into the postseason.
Despite the nice effort by the Athletics in Houston, the Astros don’t have to worry about playing in or even making the Wild Card Game. They’ll be skipping that game, while the best-case scenario for the A’s will be playing in October as a wildcard.
The Athletics have to keep plugging away, but the previous three days got them in a nice position. They’re going into Friday with a record of 87-60 and homefield advantage in the Wild Card Game. The A’s would be welcoming the Rays to Oakland for a one-game series to determine who moves on to play in a real series.
After shocking the Astros, the A’s must avoid a letdown and getting too exciting about what they accomplished. Because, really, they haven’t accomplished much of anything yet. The Athletics are expected to send out Chris Bassitt against the rookie Brock Burke of the Rangers. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Rangers pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Athletics have been getting valuable production out of a plethora of guys on their roster. They haven’t had to rely on just a handful of guys to find wins. It’s been a total team effort for the Athletics and that’s really always the way when they have a winning ball club. Players might change over the years, but the message is always the same.
Even when they’ve had solid teams, though, the Athletics have struggled to get over the hump in the postseason. Their last win in the World Series was in 1989, and no, the moneyball team from 2002 did not go to the World Series, but Billy Beane’s philosophy still holds in 2019. Like I just said, they’ve struggled to get over the hump in the last 20 years. We’ll see if this season is any different. They just want tonight in Arlington to be the same as last night in Houston.
The Rangers will give prospect Brock Burke another look tonight. He’s done well in four starts and only has one poor showing on his resume. Burke opened up his career against the Angels with an impressive scoreless showing across 6 innings. He followed that up with another positive effort, as Burke allowed 2 hits and 1-run in another 6 innings. It was just 6 more innings for Burke against the Mariners in the next start, as he allowed 2 earned runs.
Burke ran into a wall against the Orioles in Baltimore, though. The youngster was knocked around for 6 earned runs in 5 innings to instantly skew his numbers north. In any event, Burke has been brilliant in every opportunity that he’s had in Arlington. He holds an ERA of 1.50 and 1.17 WHIP at home thus far.
Chris Bassitt counters with an ERA of 4.04 and 1.23 WHIP in the road this season. He’s been pitching well with no more than 3 runs allowed since July 24th. However, I like the Rangers to keep this game competitive. They catch an A’s team coming off the series of the year for them and I see a slight bit of a letdown here. In any case, laying -166 on Bassitt during a road trip carries no value. There does appear to be some value on the Rangers to win or keep the final score within a run at home Friday night.