Off a 6-4 home loss to Minnesota, it won’t take much to motivate Texas on Friday night. If the blemish to the Twins wasn’t enough, the simple fact that division rival Oakland is in town will do the trick. The A’s are trying to catch the Rangers in the AL West and currently rest 8.5-games back in second place. Texas would like to increase its lead and pick up some breathing room with a victory.
On the bump for the home team will be Indianapolis, Indiana product Tommy Hunter. One thing you don’t want to do is fade Mr. Hunter inside Rangers Ballpark. At home, No. 35 has been scratched for only 17 earned runs and 49 hits in 49.1 frames. That shakes down to a stellar 6-0 record and a fantastic 3.10 ERA. Overall this season, Hunter has been touched for just 35 earned runs and 84 hits in 85.2 frames en route to a 10-2 mark and a superb 3.68 ERA!
Knocking off Oakland’s Brett Anderson won’t exactly be an easy task. The A’s lefty has pitched well in his last four games against Tampa Bay, Toronto, Seattle and Kansas City allowing seven earned runs and 23 hits in 27.0 innings of work. That breaks down to a 1-2 record but a decent 2.33 ERA. Unfortunately for Oakland, the A’s have struggled a touch on foreign soil dropping 36 of 61 and their bullpen has failed them on numerous occasions.
There are a couple of strong team situations that support this investment too. The Athletics have dropped 68 of their last 98 as a guest matched up against an opponent that owns a won/loss percentage greater than .500 and nine of their last 10 priced as an underdog. On the flip side, the Rangers have ripped off wins in 36 of their last 52 as home chalk and 12 of their last 17 coming off a straight up loss.
Bragging rights in the AL West will be on the line tonight in Arlington and the home team will easily extend their lead at the top of the division. Take Texas with listed pitcher Hunter. Thank you and best of luck, Tom Stryker.