The Texas Rangers head to the west coast after an eight-game home-stand in Arlington. They weren’t able to do much with a 3-5 record, but that’s been the story of the season for the Rangers. Not much traction for the guys in Arlington, as they go into Oakland with a record of 61-79. There isn’t much that can be done with an abysmal pitching staff and that’s exactly what the Rangers have delivered in 2018.
The Rangers are 30th in the major leagues with their starters posting an ERA of 5.45. You are not going to go very far when the pitching as a collective group is that poor. It doesn’t matter what’s happening with the offense when the starting pitchers can’t hand the ball over to the bullpen with a lead. Mind you, the relievers aren’t the best either.
It might be a meaningless game to the Rangers, but the Athletics are playing high stakes baseball in September. They flew up the standings to grab the final wildcard and they have their eyes set on greener pastures. The Astros are within reach at 3.5 games. It’s going to be tough to catch a team like the ‘Stros, but this weekend sounds like a nice opportunity for them to creep up a bit closer.
The Astros are in Boston this weekend for a three-game set, which isn’t the easiest of a weekend for them. Meanwhile, the Athletics welcome a losing club that isn’t going to the postseason. After the Rangers, the A’s head to Baltimore where they take on another bad team. So, they have to take advantage of a beatable schedule the next week. Get our free Rangers vs. Athletics pick below.
Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics Pick
Yovani Gallardo (8-3, 5.14 ERA) vs. Chris Bassitt (2-3, 3.19 ERA)
Chris Bassitt made his first start with the Athletics since July 11th on August 26th against the Twins. He held up well with just 1 run across 4.2 innings of work. The Twins made him work, though. Bassitt surrendered 4 hits and 3 walks, so it could have a different story, but he was able to quiet the storm. He was sent back down to the minors after he made that spot start.
In his previous three starts, Bassitt has posted an ERA of 3.77, which is fine, but a 1.60 WHIP and .375 OBA is going to eventually burn him on the mound. He didn’t get so lucky last season pitching out of jams, as his ERA of 6.11 certainly indicates. Bassitt has only made seven outings in 2018, so if he continues to put on too many base runners, it’s going to catch up to him quickly.
Eleven-year veteran, Yovani Gallardo, will look to provide a quality outing for the Rangers. I don’t know how he’s been able to stick around in a major league rotation, but that’s what you get on a team with the worst rotation in baseball. Gallardo hasn’t seen his ERA below 5.00 since 2015. He made three appearances with the Cincinnati Reds a season ago and got hammered for a 30.86 ERA.
Gallardo gave up 8 hits and 8 runs in just 2.1 innings of action. He hasn’t been that bad, or anywhere near it, but a 5.14 ERA isn’t necessarily ideal. Gallardo goes to Oakland with a 5.54 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and .351 OBA on the road. He’s gotten plenty of run support this season, with a record of 8-3 despite a poor ERA. The Rangers’ offense has helped him out with an average of 7.1 runs per game in his last ten outings. They failed to score less than 4 runs only once for him. Gallardo is what he is, a back of the rotation type of guy filling out the worst rotation in baseball. I’d take a look at the OVER if you are looking for a selection in Oakland on Friday night.