Thursday’s MLB Over/Under: Will Rangers, A’s Bats Wake Up in Series Finale?
Although we didn’t receive standout performances from Noah Syndergaard or Aaron Nola, we were still able to prevail in yesterday’s Phillies-Mets under 7 play to keep the good start going. Let’s try to tack on another ‘W’ from this 11-game slate on Thursday.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 5-1, +3.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Nola vs. Syndergaard Under 7 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics
3:35 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Martin Perez vs. Daniel Mengden
Admittedly, there hasn’t been much offense on display in this four-game series between these two AL West residents, with the first three contests featuring a total of just 17 runs combined (and the under going 3-0).
All it takes is the right starting pitching matchup to change the fortune of both offenses, however, and the one to befall on today’s series finale could indeed do just that.
On the hill for the Rangers will be Martin Perez, coming off the disabled list to make his first start of the year. Perez, of course, had that weird injury in the offseason in which he broke his non-pitching elbow as a result of falling on his ranch due to a charging bull (which he later ate; yes, that actually happened). It would cost him most of spring training.
The 27-year-old will be in for a stiff test regardless, as the Athletics are arguably his toughest opponent of any of the club’s division rivals. In fact, Perez holds a cool 3.19 ERA collectively against the Angels, Mariners and Astros, but versus the A’s, he’s put up a far more unpleasant 5.24 ERA over his seven-year career, not to mention a 1.51 WHIP and .300 batting average against in 16 assignments. Thus, I don’t think Perez will be sharp in his season debut.
Daniel Mengden (pictured above) is also in a tough spot here. He’s coming off a rough first start of the campaign. The mustached-hurler surrendered six runs (five earned) in 5.2 innings of work, falling to 0-1 at the hands of the Halos. That’s a little concerning, as the third-year righty also disappointed during spring training to the tune of a 6.12 ERA and 1.52 WHIP across 25 frames.
In addition, Mengden generally struggles mightily at home compared to on the road. In 12 career starts at the Oakland Coliseum, he’s 0-9 with a disastrous 6.57 ERA and 1.61 WHIP, as opponents have hit .316 off him in those outings. By contrast, he’s 5-3 in 10 road assignments with a 4.12 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and .211 batting average against.
The Rangers were ninth in runs scored a year ago and, mired in a 2-5 start entering Thursday, aren’t going to let anyone off the hook if the opposing hurler isn’t on his game. Given Mengden’s home-and-road splits and his troublesome state right now, Texas has a shot at putting up a crooked number. The A’s, too, are capable of the same fate with their batting order considering their lengthy successful track record opposite Perez. This all figures to pace an over.
Play: OVER 9 (-110)
Photo: John Hefti, USA Today Sports