We took a heart-breaking loss last night when we backed the Atlanta Braves against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds hadn’t won two games in a row all season long and had the worst record in the major leagues coming into the game. The Braves fell behind early and needed a late comeback to push the game into extra innings. It felt like we had all the momentum and would eventually take the game in the extra frames. The Braves even loaded the bases in the top of the tenth inning but failed to push a run across. The game officially came to an end when Scooter Gennett blasted the walk-off homer in the bottom of the twelfth, giving the Reds the 9-7 win. These types of losses always hurt, and the walk-off was a little extra kick while we were down. But we will pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off today and get right back at it. For today’s pick, I am going to take a look at the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers.
The Oakland Athletics are in Arlington, Texas Wednesday night looking for the sweep in game three of a three-game series against the Rangers. The A’s took game one 9-4 and then held on late last night for a 3-2 victory to take the two games to none lead in the series. Oakland will start the embattled Kendall Graveman (0-4 10.07 ERA), and the Rangers will look to salvage one game of the series with Doug Fister (1-2 3.95 ERA) on the mound. This game is currently an even pick ‘em at -110 for both teams after opening with Oakland as small favorites. The game total over-under is set at ten runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM PST from Globe Life Park.
Kendall Graveman has been absolutely terrible this year. I have bet against him his last four starts, and I have cashed all four tickets. Even in his last two games where his team had given him tons of run support he has found ways to screw it up and lose the game. In his last start against the Boston Red Sox, his team jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead. It looked like Graveman might actually win a game. But then Graveman did Graveman stuff and got blasted for six runs, all earned, and gave up the lead for his team. They went on to lose the game 7-3.
This guy just cannot be trusted against any team at this point. His best start of the season up to this point was against this very same Texas Rangers team on April 3rd. He gave up four earned runs in just five innings of work and lost the game 4-1. And that was his BEST start! He has given up at least five earned runs in every other start and has yet to get past the fifth inning in any start. The guy is just downright awful this year.
The Texas Rangers aren’t going to be any good this year. But I am not sure they are as bad as they are showing right now. They aren’t getting swept by the Oakland A’s bad. They looked poised to turn their season around when they stole a series against the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros early in the month. But since then they have dropped series to both the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays, and now they are at risk of being swept by Oakland. That is a fairly easy patch of scheduling that they have not at all taken advantage of.
Tonight’s starter for the Rangers, Doug Fister has been around seemingly forever. He has played for a bunch of different teams over the course of his ten-year career. He has had stops in Seattle, Detroit, Washington, Houston, Boston, and Texas. When you bounce around that much, it means two things. One, you must be somewhat decent or so many teams wouldn’t be singing you. And two, you aren’t great, or somebody would have locked you down.
That sums up Doug Fister’s career perfectly. Fister is a break-even record guy with an ERA of just under four runs. He isn’t going to dominate, but he can certainly be counted on to be at least serviceable in the rotation. It wouldn’t shock me to see Fister on the move again this season as there is always a playoff team that is looking for a reliable pitcher to make a playoff run, and the Rangers will likely be out of the playoff hunt well before the trade deadline.
There is an old saying, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And right now, betting against Kendall Graveman is working really well. I don’t love the fact that Texas is playing so poorly right now, but I do like that they are at home and I love that I am getting them at even money. Getting a chance to bet against Kendall Graveman and his ERA north of ten runs is just too juicy to pass up on today. So, I will take the home team and hope that some of the variance of this early season for Texas evens out tonight.
Give me the Texas Rangers at home at even money, -110 tonight!