Go with the Oakland A’s at 1.53 to capture a visiting victory at the Texas Rangers.
It doesn’t matter where this Saturday game was played, the disparity between these two clubs is too great to expect a Rangers win. Even before we get into the specifics of this game, it’s worth noting that the A’s possess the American League’s second-best road team, while the Rangers are dead last in home winning percentage. So generally speaking, the environs for this game play much better for Oakland than Texas.
Now consider the pitching matchup. Sonny Gray has been excellent for the A’s this year as evidenced by his 11-3 record and 2.72 ERA. He’s faced the Rangers three times already this season and owned them. Gray has a 1.96 ERA over 23 innings of work versus Texas. On the other hand, Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch has been little more than a place filler for his club. He is 3-6 with a 4.87 ERA and in his past four appearances, he’s a dismal 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA. As for his work against Oakland, Tepesch was tagged for nine hits and four runs in five innings of work in his one start against them. Not surprisingly, he suffered the loss.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Pick the Los Angeles Dodgers, on at 1.51, to win on the road at the San Francisco Giants.
Road wins are always difficult and the Dodgers lineup is certainly depleted with Hanley Ramirez struggling physically. But when Clayton Kershaw takes the pitcher’s mound, the Dodgers are a massive threat to win. It’s hard to argue against the belief that Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball. His 1.92 ERA is tops in the National League, and he’s showing no signs of wilting in the second half. In his past four starts he’s 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA.
While Kershaw can’t win this game alone – his offence does need to score runs – he has the advantage of squaring off against Ryan Vogelsong. The Giants veteran has had good stretches this season, but momentum has been against him as of late. In his past four games he is 0-3 with a 4.15 ERA. Most unsettling was his last outing against the Philadelphia Phillies. Vogelsong lasted just three innings, allowing a whopping eleven hits and four runs in just three innings of work. Considering the Dodgers – even with injuries – are a far better run scoring team than the Phillies, this could be a tough one for Vogelsong.