Coming into today’s game, the Athletics are the hottest team in baseball. The A’s are 9-1 in July and their pitching staff has a 2.25 ERA during this span, the best in the American League. Let’s not forget this young pitching staff has been great all year. On the year, the Athletics have the lowest ERA in the A.L. at 3.40, and also have the lowest ERA at home in the A.L. at 2.84. With this being said, the A’s pitching staff will need to continue their success on their short 6-game home stand that starts against the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers have been one of the most powerful offensive forces in all of baseball. Texas leads the American League with a team batting average of .278 and are tied for first with 450 runs scored on the year. As for their pitching staff, they are also very good. The Rangers pitching staff has a 3.70 ERA, which is second behind the Oakland Athletics in the American League. Texas also has a 3.51 ERA on the road, which is also the second best in the American League.
The Athletics, who find themselves in playoff contention after the all-star break, will need to continue to play extremely good baseball if they want to gain ground on the Rangers in the A.L. West. Currently the season series between the two teams is tied at 5-5. After a rough series in Texas to end the month, which the A’s salvaged the last game of the 4-game series, the Athletics will look to Bartolo Colon in game one of the series.
Bartolo Colon, who threw threw eight scoreless innings in a victory in his last start against Texas, will try and mirror that start tonight. Each game creates a 2-game swing in the standings, so if the A’s can win both games they can continue to climb the standings in both the A.L. West and the American League Wild Card Race.