Athletics-Rangers Betting Preview: Can You Trust Bartolo Colon in the Heat?

Athletics-Rangers Betting Preview: Can You Trust Bartolo Colon in the Heat? article feature image

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Bartolo Colon.

Betting odds: Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers

  • Athletics: -134 (Trevor Cahill)
  • Rangers: +121 (Bartolo Colon)
  • Over/Under: 11
  • First Pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET

Here’s how sick of a person I am: I see a series with absurd eight-run comebacks, crazy lead changes, double-digit total runs in every single game, and I think to myself “now THAT is a series I wanna bet some money on!”

Throw in that Big Sexy is pitching for one of the teams … how could I resist? Just take my wallet.

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We romanticize Colon because of his age and appearance; in many ways, he’s the lovable oaf of the major leagues. In tonight’s contest, with game-time temperatures in the mid-90s, it may not be a great look out there for him on the mound.

I’m not trying to be harsh here, so I’ll just say we all have that kinda gross, sweaty mental image going right now. I’m not exactly one to talk; it was 90 and humid here yesterday, and I probably lost five pounds while mowing my lawn. Neighborhood kids were laughing at me. Mothers turned their babies away. Let’s just move on.

Anyway, of all the crazy Colon trends I could find in Bet Labs, this one is by far my favorite:  When Colon is the starting pitcher, and the average temperature in the game is between 85 and 102 degrees, he is 19-8 for a 33.8% return on investment. Let’s put that another way: When it’s so hot and gross out that no one would want to be on the mound, Colon thrives. And if that doesn’t make it onto his Hall of Fame plaque somehow, we’ve all lost our way.

This season, some of his better performances have come in these steamy conditions:

  • May 26 vs. Royals: 3 ER, 7 IP
  • June 6 vs. Athletics: 2 ER, 5 IP

(Yes, he got hit pretty hard by Cleveland last time out at home, but I mean … it’s Colon. How rosy of a picture could I possibly paint you this season?)

Now we not only get Colon at home in those same conditions, but as a +127 underdog against Cahill? With the home field factored in, that number seems big, no?

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Here are Cahill’s home-road splits in VERY limited samples this season:

  • Home: 5 starts, 1-0 record, 0.80 ERA
  • Road: 5 starts, 0-2 record, 5.92 ERA

His career has taken so many twists and turns that it’s hard to use data from several years ago reliably in tandem with this. Let’s just say it’s a nice little bonus trend.

Cahill hasn’t started a game with 85- to 102-degree temperatures since 2014. Where he will be unprepared, Colon will thrive. And that is a sentence I never thought I would write.

The Bet: Rangers +121

Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.