TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 10TH
#924 OAKLAND with Blackburn (-180) over Texas with Otto at 9:40 PM EST
With a little steam off a pair of home wins over the Pale Hose, the A’s will have no trouble pounding the overachieving Rangers. Texas checks in off four consecutive road wins and manager Chris Woodward’s boys will struggle in this contest.
Right-hander Paul Blackburn will take the mound for the Athletics. In his last three starts against the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Mariners, No. 58 was nicked for six earned runs and 19 hits in 14.1 innings of work. Blackburn fanned nine and walked one on his way to an 0-1 tally with a 3.77 ERA. At home, Paul has been at his best. Inside RingCentral Coliseum, Blackburn has been scratched for only two earned runs and 10 hits in 10.2 frames. After the math, that adds up to an 0-0 record and a strong 1.69 ERA.
Countering for the visiting Rangers is rookie righty Glenn Otto. In two career starts against the Angels and Astros, No. 49 was clipped for two earned runs and six hits in 9.2 innings. Otto whiffed 11 and walked one on his way to an 0-0 mark and an eye-popping 1.86 ERA. With four seasons in the minors, Glenn was popped for 63 earned runs and 150 hits in 187.1 frames. That equates to a 16-8 tally with a 3.03 ERA.
There are several strong trends that support this investment. Oakland has won 123 of its last 181 when priced as a home favorite, 35 of its last 52 when competing on Friday, 40 of its last 59 fighting a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage less than .400, and 36 of its last 53 in this series when playing at home. On the other side of the park, Texas has dropped 35 of its last 52 in the first game of a series, 43 of its last 63 when battling a foe that holds a winning record, 52 of its last 74 priced as an underdog, and 40 of its last 53 checking in off a day of rest.
Sitting 5.5-games back in the division and 2.0-games behind in the hunt for the AL Wild Card, the A’s know they can’t afford home losses to a Rangers bunch that is 37-games under the .500 mark. Take Oakland with Blackburn. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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