Athletics vs. Rangers Odds & Pick: Bet Texas In AL West Matchup (June 21)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Gibson.
- The Oakland Athletics will travel to take on their AL West foe Texas Rangers on Monday night.
- The A's have been much better the Rangers this season, and especially over the last 10 games, but Kevin Davis thinks that could change tonight.
- Check out Davis' full betting analysis complete with updated odds, a pick, and a prediction for the divisional matchup below.
Athletics vs. Rangers Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||8:05 p.m. ET|
This week in the AL West, the Texas Rangers host the Oakland Athletics.
Oakland is tied for first place in the division, while Texas sits in last. The A’s boast a 44-29 record and are 7-3 in their last 10 games, but the Rangers have been on the opposite side of things with a 25-46 record, including a 2-8 mark over their last 10.
With a quick glance at both teams, it appears the Athletics are a good bet as a narrow -136 favorite, but it’s not that simple.
Based on both teams’ run differentials, Oakland should have a worse record than it has, while Texas should have a better record. The Rangers own a 28-43 Pythagorean record, while the A’s have a 40-33 Pythagorean mark.
Oakland is a better team than Texas, but the Rangers have an edge in the starting pitching matchup. The question is whether or not the Athletics can win on the road despite having a disadvantage in the mound.
Beware of the Oakland Bullpen
Frankie Montas is set to take the mound against the Rangers on Monday night. Last season, Montas had a 3-5 record with a 5.60 ERA. This season, Montas has played much better, as he owns a 7-6 record with a 4.21 ERA and a 3.91 xFIP. However, Montas alone may not be enough for the A’s.
Oakland’s bullpen has a 4.58 xFIP, which is the fourth-worst in the league. Additionally, the Athletics bullpen averages only 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings — the fewest in the league. Even though Montas pitches for more innings per start than the typical starter, it’s plausible that Oakland’s bullpen could blow the lead for Montas.
Backing Montas and Oakland’s bullpen up is a lineup that has been decent this season.
The A’s average 4.51 runs per game, which is .08 more runs per game than the average MLB lineup. With Mark Canha and Matt Olson having strong seasons, the A’s lineup is well-positioned. However, outside of Canha and Olson, much of Oakland’s lineup has been relatively underwhelming.
Gibson Continues to Impress
Opposing Montas and the A’s is Rangers starting pitcher Kyle Gibson.
Last year, Gibson had a 2-6 record with a 5.35 ERA, a 4.36 xFIP, and a 0.1 WAR. This season, Gibson has bettered those numbers to a 4-0 record with a 2.09 ERA, and a 4.02 xFIP.
As a 33-year-old in his ninth MLB season, Gibson is having the best year of his career. Most impressively, Gibson is averaging almost six innings per start, which is impressive when the typical starting pitcher lasts only five innings.
Additionally, while Texas has struggled this season, its bullpen has been a bright spot. The Rangers’ bullpen has a 3.95 xFIP, which is the ninth-best in baseball. With a strong starting pitcher and a decent bullpen, the Rangers might be able to string together a victory on Monday night.
However, backing up Gibson and Texas’ bullpen is a lackluster lineup. The Rangers average only 3.92 runs per game, which is the second-worst in the American League. However, many key Ranger hitters have missed significant parts of the season with injuries.
According to my model, Texas has six average or above-average offensive players for Monday’s likely lineup.
The Rangers’ lineup is certainly worse than that of the typical MLB team, but according to my model, they should score 4.32 runs in a game, which is 0.4 more runs than they are currently scoring.
For most games between Oakland and Texas, the Oakland should win. However, the Rangers have their best chance of beating the A’s on Monday.
The Rangers have an edge in starting pitcher and a better bullpen. Their lineup is also not that much worse than the A’s. When you factor this in with Texas playing at home, the Rangers are worth backing as +115 underdogs.
Pick: Rangers ML +115 (Play to +108)