The Texas Rangers are trying desperately to stay in the wildcard race. A four-game winning streak will help matters, but this is after they went on a five-game losing streak previously. They did a nice job of rebounding, however would have been a much better position than they are now. The Rangers are tied with the Angels, behind the Twins by 2.5 games.
Minnesota has held on to that slot for weeks now and isn’t about to give it away. It would be some kind of unfortunate collapse if the Twins do not hang on. Nevertheless, 2.5 games isn’t a lot, and can change in a weekend. We’re getting down to the end of the season soon, and the Rangers have to keep winning if they want to be at Yankee Stadium playing in a play-in game.
Standing in their way this weekend is a team that has nothing to lose. The Athletics have been playing like they have nothing to lose lately, and have gone 4-0 in their last four contests. Before we start claiming that they’re hot though, let’s step back and take a look at the teams they beat, the Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers.
The Phillies and Tigers are two of the worst teams in the majors. The Athletics are another one of the worst teams, so it isn’t saying too much. At least the A’s aren’t laying down and playing dead, though. They are still out there competing, and there’s been some bright spots recently, in a year that they haven’t had anything to be excited about. Teams playing with nothing on the line can be the most frustrating for a team just outside of the postseason. Find our Rangers vs Athletics pick below.
Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics Pick
Nick Martinez (3-6, 5.47 ERA) vs. Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.39 ERA)
If the Rangers do in fact come back to reach the postseason, they will have momentum on their side against what we presume to be the Yankees. There is still time to get hot and go on a run, but it’s imperative not to falter against a team like the Athletics. Have to win the winnable games at this point in the year. Nick Martinez will do his best to help out and hopefully make up for his lack of assistance of late. He’s allowed 8 runs in his last two showings, including 8 runs in the last 6 innings pitched. Martinez has won just 1 game since the end of June. The Rangers went 1-8 with him on the mound. Martinez finished with a 5.59 ERA last season, and he’s just about there in 2017 as well.
Kendall Gravemen will counter for the Athletics. He’s been up and down but pitching relatively well. He owns a 3.46 ERA in his last three starts, and a 2.98 ERA at home. This would suggest that the A’s are the play on Friday, but I think too much is going into their last four games. Again, they beat the Phillies and Tigers.
Meanwhile, the Rangers beat the Angels and Mariners on the road. I don’t see the A’s as a -130 favorite in this game. Martinez hasn’t been great, but Graveman isn’t worth that price against him. He does have some success against the A’s with a 2.71 ERA and 4-3 record. We’ll roll the dice with Martinez and the Rangers tonight.
PICK: RANGERS (+115)