The Oakland A’s will struggle when they travel to Texas to take on the Rangers. The biggest concern in this one is the A’s starter Dan Straily.
The right-hander has been hit extremely hard this season. He has a 7.27 ERA, but that statistic would be even worse if you exclude his first start when he faces a woeful Houston Astros team and gave up just two runs in six 2/3 innings.
In his other four appearances, he’s given up 19 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings. That poor run has included a pretty bad whipping by this Texas Rangers club, which tagged him for five runs in just four 1/3 innings pitched.
Compounding the A’s troubles is Yu Darvish has the Rangers pitching assignment. The pitcher is 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA and leads the American League in strikeouts with 86. So far this year, he’s 4-0 at home and that streak should continue against an A’s team that lost two out of three the last time these two clubs played.
Look for a low scoring result when the Washington Nationals visit the San Francisco Giants.
San Francisco starter Matt Cain has not put up overall numbers in 2013 that would encourage you back a well-pitched game in this one. He has a 5.43 ERA and his splits at home are not much better (5.40 ERA at AT&T Park).
But his recent performance at AT&T is far more in line with what we’d expect from the three-time All Star. He’s thrown three straight quality starts at home (six inning-plus pitched; three or fewer earned runs allowed).
Most notably, the one primary factor that has led to his poor start – home runs allowed – has been kept in check when pitching in San Fran as of late. He’s given up 13 home runs this season, but only two at AT&T Park in his last three starts. Also, Nationals hitters have just a .226 combined batting average against Cain lifetime.
The reason to avoid picking Cain to carry the Giants to victory is that he faces Stephen Strasburg. While Strasburg is saddled with a 2-5 record, he has pitched much better than that. He owns a 2.83 ERA and has struck out nearly a batter per inning pitched. Giants batters have really struggled against Strasburg, posting a .171 batting average against the flamethrower. These pitchers should be on their game so take under seven runs at 1.75.
Best bet: Texas Rangers to beat Oakland Athletics at 1.43