As we enter the season’s final weekend, the hunt for a good number and teams that will put forth somewhat of a predictable effort is a scarce one. The playoff chase is just about settled on all fronts, which means that this weekend doesn’t mean as much as maybe you would have thought to a whole lot of teams out there. But with a full slate of games, the show goes on. And we’re headed out to Arlington for the ninth play of the month, looking for win number six.
With Thursday’s loss to go along with a Kansas City win, it’s now or never for the Oakland Athletics. Maybe that’s a little too harsh. The A’s are safely in the playoffs with Seattle still kicking a couple games behind them. But Oakland has been battling with Kansas City for the right to host the play-in game between the two teams that will take place on Tuesday. Kansas City holds the tie-breaker between the two teams, and now a one-game lead in the standings. Oakland’s only hope to bring the play-in to the Coliseum will be to somehow gain two games in the standings on Kansas City in the last three. And it hands the ball to Scott Kazmir against the Rangers tomorrow.
Kazmir hasn’t been very good over his last five starts or so. And he very well may be pitching for a spot in the playoff rotation – or at least his positioning in that rotation. Texas’ injury problems all year have been well documented and I’m willing to give Kazmir my vote of confidence in his final start against the Rangers. If he can’t come out and throw a quality game on Friday, it will be tough for Bob Melvin to trust him to do anything close to that in a playoff atmosphere next week.
Kazmir opposes Nick Tepesch, who has been excellent of late. It’s been an up and down year as a whole for the Rangers’ opening day starter, but Tepesch hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last five starts. With just eight hits allowed over his last two starts (13 innings), Tepesch looks to finish his campaign with one more great start. Going against an Oakland lineup that simply hasn’t found its stride since trading away Yoenis Cespedes, I’m willing to bet on it happening.
Free Pick: Under 8 (-110)
YTD: 39-26-2 +7.81