MLB betting: Athletics set to struggle at Rangers

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