Rangers @ Athletics August 22 Free Play


On Sunday I said something about it being the last time we were going to back the A’s for a while. Clearly I have a problem.

The Athletics went for about -200 in each of the first two games against the Rangers this week and won 9–0 and then 6–0 last night. Brett Anderson threw seven innings of one-hit ball and the Rangers are still looking for their first run of the three-game series in the finale this afternoon (apologies for a bit of a late post here).

Anyway, Oakland was trading around -200 on Monday and Tuesday, won easily both times, and now, for whatever reason, is back down to -170 with a favorable runline split (the difference between ML and RL). If you put 1.7 units on the moneyline and an even 1.0 on the +115 runline, you can synthesize a -125 price for Oakland -1, which is exactly what I plan to do this afternoon.

Free Play

I suppose the reason Oakland is a little more affordable today is Mike Minor. It’s true, Minor has had a nice season and has been a nice story, one of the few for the Rangers this season, in his first full season back as a starting pitcher in quite some time after a pair of serious surgical procedures a few years back but I just don’t think it matters much.

The A’s are playing with such momentum and vigor, whoever happens to be in Bob Melvin’s lineup card on that particular game. Their depth gives them an even bigger advantage in an afternoon game like this one immediately following a night game. Even if Minor does happen to pitch well for six innings, the A’s are going to get to that bullpen. They simply never stop coming at you. They’ve won the first two games by a combined score of 15–0 without even hitting particularly well with runners in scoring position.

Edwin Jackson only gave up two solo shots against Houston on Friday night and was otherwise shutdown. He will have to avoid the long ball against Texas because that’s what the Rangers do but if he is vigilant, he should dominate again. Blake Treinen hasn’t thrown much lately so Melvin will be anxious to get him some work in the ninth and I’m fully expecting an appearance, save situation or not.

The best play is probably just the runline. Oakland isn’t just beating teams, it’s blowing them out by thoroughly outplaying them in all aspects of the game. The fact that you can still get plus money for laying the run-and-a-half is curious, though I get nervous about the one-run win, especially when I’m backing the home team. The A’s play plenty of close games so I’m going to play this one a little more conservatively and opt for the one-run push.

Play: Oakland -1 (-117)

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