MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: Athletics vs. Rangers (Monday, Aug. 24)

Credit:

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Lance Lynn #35 of the Texas Rangers.

  • Jesus Luzardo and the Oakland Athletics take on the Texas Rangers at 8:05 p.m. ET. The A's are favored at -148 and the total is set at 7.5.
  • The Rangers and their league-worst offense are looking to snap an eight-game losing streak, and Brad Cunningham sees this game as a perfect recipe for the under.
  • Read Cunningham's full betting preview for A's vs. Rangers below.

Athletics vs. Rangers Odds

Athletics Odds -148 [BET NOW]
Rangers Odds +128 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 7.5 (-115/-106) [BET NOW]
First Pitch 8:05 p.m. ET

Odds as of Monday a 12 p.m. ET via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The Oakland A’s will look to extend their lead in the American League West as they send their young prospect Jesus Luzardo to the mound. On the other side, the Texas Rangers will try and break their eight game losing streak as they send their ace Lance Lynn to the mound.

These two pitchers met back on Aug. 4, which ended up being a pitchers duel, until Stephen Piscotty hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning.

How will their matchup play out tonight?

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning. 

A’s Projected Lineup

The A’s have been steady offensively all season long, ranking 13th in MLB in terms of wOBA (.321). However, over the past week they’ve been a tad stagnant, hitting .210, with a .280 wOBA. To make matters worse, they are going up against one of the best pitchers so far in 2020.

They’ve done most of their damage this season against fastballs (7.3 wFB), as they rank in the top half of MLB against it, but they’ll have a tall task against Lynn who has one of the best fastballs in the game.

A’s Probable Starter

Jesus Luzardo, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Luzardo is Oakland’s top prospect and has some electric stuff. He brings 97 MPH cheese from the left side, followed up by a sick curveball and a decent changeup. He’s been a little off with his sinker, but all of his other pitches have been fairly effective this season as they’re generating a whiff rate over 30%.

Luzardo shut the Rangers down the first time around, going five shutout innings, while only allowing two hits. He has a fantastic matchup against the Rangers this time around, since they have the worst offense in baseball.

Rangers Projected Lineup

There is no way to sugar coat this: the Rangers have the worst offense in baseball. They rank dead last in terms of wOBA (.279) and wRC+ (66) and have been awful as of late.

Over the past week, the Rangers are hitting a measly .171 with a .249 wOBA. Texas has also been terrible versus left handed pitching, ranking 24th in MLB. It’s difficult to see how they are going to break out of their slump against one of the best young prospects in the game.

Rangers Probable Starter

Lance Lynn, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Lynn has been really good to start the season, allowing only six earned runs on 20 hits in 39.1 innings of work. The righty is predominantly a fastball pitcher and for good reason.

His fastball is producing a 26.5% whiff rate on his fastball in 2020 and has allowed a .225 wOBA to opponents. He also mixes in a slider/cutter-type pitch that isn’t elite, but keeps hitters from timing his fastball.

Lynn was able to shut down the A’s the first time these two teams met, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can get to him the second time around.

Bullpens

The A’s will have a significant advantage in the bullpen department in this series. They have the seventh-best bullpen in terms of xFIP at 4.17, while the Rangers have the 26th-ranked bullpen, with a 4.99 xFIP.

Projections and Pick

With these two starting pitchers on the mound and two slumping offenses, this is a perfect recipe for an under. Since I have 7.27 runs projected for this game, I am going to look at an alternate over/under to get better odds. I will be taking Under 7 runs at +125 (DraftKings), but I would only bet it down to +120.

Pick: Under 7.5 runs (-106)

[Bet Under 7.5 at +104 Odds with a 10% profit boost at DraftKings (now online in Illinois!)]

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