The Texas Rangers (22-14) visit the Oakland Athletics (8-30) for the first of a four-game series. First pitch commences Thursday at 9:40 p.m. ET. Below we continue our MLB odds series with a Rangers-Athletics prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Here are the Rangers-Athletics MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Rangers-Athletics Odds
Texas Rangers: -1.5 (-154)
Oakland Athletics: +1.5 (+128)
Over: 8.5 (-122)
Under: 8.5 (+100)
How To Watch Rangers vs. Athletics
TV: NBCS California, Bally Sports
Time: 9:40 p.m. ET/ 6:40 p.m. PT
*See how to watch Rangers-Athletics LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Rangers Could Cover The Spread
Last 10: 7-3 (First in the AL West)
Run Line Record: 22-14 (61%)
Over Record: 21-13-2 (62%)
The Rangers have been one of the best stories in baseball thus far as they currently lead the AL West despite their best hitter being on IL for multiple weeks now. With three series wins in a row, Texas comes into tonight red-hot. They are particularly dangerous on offense where Texas ranks first in runs, fourth in total bases, and fourth in OPS. They face a juicy matchup tonight against an A’s team that ranks last in ERA, WHIP, and HR/9 allowed. Consequently, the Rangers may just need a strong outing from Nathan Eovaldi to cover as 1.5-run road favorites.
Righty Nathan Eovaldi (4-2) makes his eighth start of the season for the Rangers tonight. The journeyman hurler has gotten off to a fast start in his first season in Texas with a 3.22 ERA and 1.10 WHIP through seven games. His strikeout numbers remain solid thanks to his 8.9 K/9. The long-time Red Sox ace had a rocky start but is coming off two of the best starts of his career. He threw a complete game shutout against the Yankees before throwing eight shutout innings against the Angels in his most recent start. With the arrow pointing straight up, Eovaldi gets a juicy matchup with an Oakland offense averaging the fourth-fewest runs per game. Consequently, the 33-year-old should continue cooking tonight given his recent stretch and favorable matchup.
Texas boasts lethal hitters up and down their lineup. Second baseman Marcus Semien has led the way of late with a .346 average and 14 total bases over his last six games. Additionally, catcher Jonah Heim has been rock-solid for the Rangers. The 27-year-old catcher finds himself in the midst of a breakout year with a .318 average, six home runs, and 28 RBI. That being said, the main guy to watch is outfielder Adolis Garcia. The 30-year-old leads the majors in RBI with 36 and absolutely raked Oakland earlier in the season. In their 18-3 win last month, Garcia batted 5-5 with three home runs and eight RBI.
Why The Athletics Could Cover The Spread
Last 10: 3-7 (Fifth in the AL West)
Run Line Record: 15-23 (40%)
Over Record: 24-12-2 (67%)
Oakland showed some fight when they took 2/3 from the Royals but any hope of a turnaround was quickly diminished when they were swept by the Yankees. That being said, the A’s did take 1/3 from the Rangers last month – perhaps showing a path to covering tonight as big home underdogs.
Righty Zach Neal (0-0) makes his first start of the season for Oakland tonight. The Athletics selected the 34-year-old’s contract from the minors to make his first big league appearance since 2018. After pitching in Japan from 2019-21, he returned to the States and threw 116.2 innings for the Rockies’ Triple-A team last season. Neal didn’t wow with his minor league stats as he compiled a 6.87 EA. Things haven’t been much better for Neal this season as he allowed seven runs in 11.1 innings thus far. Given his lack of big-league experience, Neal doesn’t face high expectations tonight – especially considering his unfavorable matchup. The Rangers currently lead the MLB in runs – making Neal a complete wildcard tonight.
Given the inexperience of their starter tonight, the A’s will need their offense to carry the load if they want to cover tonight. Despite ranking 27th in runs, the A’s have proved frisky on occasion. In recent games, Oakland has relied on a pair of rookie outfielders to lead the way. Centerfield JJ Bleday has been red-hot over his last seven games – holding a .440 average to go along with three home runs and 23 total bases. To his left, Brent Rooker has been just as hot. The 28-year-old has been on fire to kick off the 2023 season with a .317 ERA, 10 home runs, and 26 RBI. With hits in six of his last seven games, Rooker rides a hot stick into tonight’s matchup.
Final Rangers-Athletics Prediction & Pick
With how well Eovaldi has pitched thus far (and how inexperienced Neal is), the Rangers look like a slam dunk tonight. Hammer the road favorites in a game that could get out of hand, quickly.
Final Rangers-Athletics Prediction & Pick: Texas Rangers -1.5 (-154)
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