After taking two of three from both the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners, the Texas Rangers look to end their AL West swing on a high note as they kick off a four-game set against the last-place Oakland Athletics. First pitch from the Oakland Coliseum is set for 9:40 p.m. ET. The red-hot Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.22 ERA) will get the ball for the Rangers while Oakland counters with journeyman Zach Neal.
Texas enters as a heavy -250 favorite on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the A’s are +210 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Rangers-Athletics picks: Thursday, May 11
Out: OF Travis Jankowski (hamstring), SS Corey Seager (hamstring), C Mitch Garver (knee), SP Jacob deGrom (elbow)
Day to day: SP Mason Miller (elbow), OF Ramon Laureano (concussion)
Out: SP Paul Blackburn (finger), RP Trevor May (anxiety), INF Aledmys Diaz (hamstring), RP Adrian Martinez (elbow), 1B/OF Seth Brown (oblique), C Manny Pina (wrist)
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Zach Neal
Eovaldi is among the hottest pitchers in baseball right now, with 17 scoreless innings across his last two starts against the Angels and New York Yankees. The righty’s splitter and curveball are as effective as ever, while he’s locating his high-90s fastball much more effectively than he did last year.
The 34-year-old Neal hasn’t pitched in the Majors since making a single relief appearance with the Los Angeles Dodgers way back in 2018. After a couple of years in Japan, the righty spent 2022 with the Colorado Rockies organization before landing with the A’s, where he’s pitched to a 5.56 ERA in five starts in Triple-A.
Even with Eovaldi on the mound, Neal against a top-five Rangers lineup is as stark a mismatch as you’ll come across. The A’s have also been sneaky effective at the plate this year, and if they push across even a couple of runs that should be more than enough to hit this over.
Total: Over 8.5
Eovaldi against a journeyman making his first MLB appearance in five years? Seems like an easy call.