The final weekend of the Major League Baseball schedule is upon us, as the regular season concludes on Sunday. Thank goodness. The last couple of weeks just drag on and on, mostly filled with meaningless baseball games. October is the most exciting month for sports in my opinion. You have the postseason, pro and college football, along with the NHL season getting underway as well. Right behind that is the NBA. For a sports fan, it doesn’t get much better than that. We need to focus on this weekend, though, and finish strong on the diamond. Sonny Gray was lit up by the Rays last night, and I don’t know if the Yankees are in a better position than they were before trading for Gray. If he doesn’t help out in the postseason, yes, it was a waste dealing for him.
We’re going to Texas tonight, where the Athletics and Rangers meet for a rather meaningless game. Don’t tell the A’s that they haven’t been playing for anything the last few weeks, though. They’re playing like a team that was in the thick of a wildcard race. The Athletics have won 16 of their last 21 games. It doesn’t mean much of anything at the end of the day, the A’s are 9 games behind the wildcard. The Twins have already clinched the final wildcard in the American League, so goodnight to everyone else. There were around seven teams within five games one another not too long ago, and now there are two, the Royals and Angels who are statistically removed from the postseason picture.
The Yankees are three games behind for the division, so they are alive statistically in the regard. I think last night was the kill shot for them, though. The Red Sox got wrecked by the Astros, but they don’t lose anything due to Sonny Gray throwing BP against the Rays. Over in the National League, the second wildcard has yet to be determined, but the Rockies currently hold a 2-game lead on the Brewers. For the Rangers, they’d just like to win a game or two before the end of the regular season. They have been getting beaten down with no effort. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Rangers pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers Pick
Raul Alcantara (1-1, 6.86 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (12-12, 4.83 ERA)
The Athletics have been playing their best baseball of the year lately. Somebody should have told them to put the foot on the gas pedal earlier. The Rangers have seemed to give up, though. They’re on a seven-game losing streak, and counting down the days until this train wreck is over with. The numbers have been ugly for Texas. During this skid, they’ve scored an average of just 1.4 runs per game. The most they scored was 3, which came on one occasion.
The Athletics have averaged 5 runs per game in their last ten, which includes a record of 8-2. The most recent win coming last night against the Rangers, 4-1. There is virtually no offense for the Rangers lately, but can they get going against Raul Alcantara? Alcantara will be making his third consecutive start after coming out of the bullpen. Alcantara was good in those two outings, giving up 0 runs against the Rangers and Tigers across 8.2 innings of work. His numbers aren’t good at all, with a 6.86 ERA but he’s at least settled in of late.
Martin Perez hasn’t been good either, especially at home where he sports at 5.28 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. The Athletics just got done hitting him for 6 hits and 5 runs across 4.2 innings. I don’t know how anyone can lay juice with the Rangers at this point. Their offense has given up and haven’t shown any evidence of life at the plate. I wouldn’t shy away from taking the A’s as underdogs in this one.
PICK: ATHLETICS (+110)