Athletics Begin Crucial Series At Texas Rangers

By: Don Best Staff | Monday, September 24, 2012

Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
MLB Betting Preview
09/24/2012, 8:05 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Rangers -175, O/U 9½
(click for latest odds)

Oakland Athletics: Bob Melvin and the A's (86-66, +30.4 units) begin their final push towards an unlikely postseason appearance with this series in Texas.  Oakland had a 12-game road win streak earlier this month, but has since gone 2-5 away from home, 2-4 on this tough current trek that begin with stops in Detroit and New York.  The Athletics turn to rookie Dan Straily in Monday's series opener.  The right-hander's sixth major league start comes in place of the injured Brett Anderson who has been lost for the rest of the regular season with an oblique strain.  Straily's last start came at home on Sept. 16 against the Orioles, and it ended with his first loss after the A's won each of his first four assignments.  Oakland is 71-79 all-time at Rangers Ballpark, but just 2-4 this season and 3-11 the last 14 games played on this diamond.

Texas Rangers: Coming home after a 3-3 road trip, the Rangers (90-62, +1.1 unit) have been relying more on pitching the past month or so to stay at the top of the AL West as well as the race to claim home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Texas tops all MLB clubs scoring 5.03 runs per game for the season, but has managed a 15-11 record since late-August while scoring at a 4/23 clip.  Derek Holland has certainly been a key part of the pitching during the stretch with the Rangers 6-2 his last eight trips to the mound and posting a sub-3.00 ERA in that stretch.  His lifetime numbers vs. Oakland include a 4-1 record and 2.24 ERA in seven starts and three relief appearances.  Texas has taken four of the six played at home this season against the A's, the 'under' 4-1-1 in those six contests.

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