Judging by the starting pitching matchup, bettors can expect crooked numbers Saturday in a showdown between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics.
It has been an ugly season across the board for the A’s, so it’s not surprising to see that they’re still trotting James Kaprielian out every fifth day, despite a his 5.09 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 1.70 HR/9. In addition to struggling to keep the ball in the yard, Kaprielian has also had problems with his control all season. The former Yankee prospect is allowing 4.04 walks per 9 innings and only racking up 5.87 strikeouts per 9.
That Kaprielian and Oakland are just +100 underdogs tells you everything you need to know about how things are going for Texas’ Taylor Hearn. Through 15 appearances (13 starts), Hearn owns a 5.78 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. Like Kaprielian, he’s walking too many batters (4.3 BB/9) and is giving up too many home runs (1.21 HR/9). According to StatCast, Hearn ranks in the third percentile in average exit velocity, 14th percentile in hard hit rate, 13th percentile in expected slugging percentage and sixth percentile in barrel rate.
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Even though these are not the most prolific offenses you’ll find in the MLB, they both should be able to generate plenty of scoring opportunities in this game, especially in the early going against Kaprielian and Hearn.
The play: Rangers-A’s, Over 7.5.