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June 23, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

Take Oakland Athletics (-129) on the Money Line against Texas Rangers risking 3% of the bankroll.
(Chavez and Gonzalez must start for wager to have action)

This is an intriguing matchup from a handicapping perspective tonight. We found it interesting to see the Oakland A's, a team that has been struggling in the first half of the season open up as favorites in this contest against the Rangers in this contest. Not only are the Athletics the team with the inferior record in this contest, they are also the road team and at least statistically, has the lesser of the two pitchers on the mound tonight. The fact that they not only opened up as the favorites, but also that the odds have violently increased throughout the day we feel is a telling sign, especially considering the vast majority of the public is backing the home team in this contest. Often times this is an indication of something happening behind the scenes that the average sports bettor is unaware of, but the movement itself is telling to a professional. 

Even after the shift in odds, there is still good value with the A's tonight. Oakland, for all of their flaws this season is still a much better team than they have been given credit for thus far. Their run differential is still one of the very best in the league this season. Their big downfall this year has been the fact that they have been on the unfortunate end of some very close games. They have lost more games by a single run this season than any other team in the league. Had the A's won even half of those games instead of lost, they would be right in the mix of the AL West. They are not as poor a team as they are perceived to be, they have simply been somewhat unlucky. This is a team that has too much talent on their roster to continually be kept down. Their recent 1 run victory over the LA Angels should give them the momentum and confidence they had been lacking in closing out those closely contested games. The A's have a couple of weeks until the All Star break and just over a month until the trade deadline hits. We believe they will likely turn their fortunes around and build some momentum prior to those significant points in the season. 

The A's managed to take a series from their divisional rivals the Halos and now we believe they will attempt to do the same with the Rangers. If Chavez can safely navigate through this explosive roster and more in particular, Prince Fielder, we believe he will get the better of this matchup. Many bats in the Rangers lineup have rarely seen Chavez on the mound, which should give him just a little bit of an edge at least in the early innings of the game. Despite his unimpressive looking 3-6 overall record on the season this year, he hasn't pitched nearly as bad as his record suggests this season and has a very respectable 2.52 ERA in over 78 innings of work this season. Chavez was drafted by the Texas Rangers and will no doubt be looking to impress against his former club who happened to let him go! Elvis Andrus, Mitch Moreland and outfielders Leonys Martin and Shin Soo-Choo have all been left baffled against Chavez and could struggle again tonight.

The Rangers are a team that doesn't really have much of a home advantage playing in Arlington. They have been a much better and potent team on the road this season. Many may not realize this because of Oakland's somewhat poor record this season; however this is a team that has scored more runs and have also allowed less runs than their opponents tonight. Oakland has started picking up a bit of momentum now having won 6 of their last 8 games and have won their last 2 games decided by exactly a single run. We believe they will come into this game confident and looking to build on the momentum they have built for themselves.  

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Oakland has won 12 of its last 16 visits to Texas!
  • Rangers are just 4-11 after a day of rest over the last 3 seasons!
  • Rangers are 22-44 at home when the total has been set at 9 or 9.5 runs over the last 3 seasons!

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