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Series #35: Athletics vs Rangers - Treading Water

MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

All told, going 3-4 on the road against two of the best teams in the American League ain’t half bad. Only one of the seven games the A’s played was a blowout, and overall the team showed that it can compete with the best of the best. For now, the A’s are able to breathe a little bit easier as they return home to Oakland until August 4th, with plenty of days off for a taxed pitching staff to recuperate and recover.

Things haven’t been going well for Texas recently. The Rangers are just 1-9 over their last ten games, the lone victory coming against a hapless Mariners’ team, and the team that was recently in possession of the second Wild Card spot has plummeted down the standings and to a .500 record at 51-51. The would-be buyers at the trade deadline now may very well be sellers, or perhaps may just hold pat.

Few expected the Rangers to compete for a playoff spot this season, but witnessing the complete unravelling of a ballclub that has played very well all season long is still a surprise. Very little has gone right for the Rangers since the All Star Break. After winning two straight against the Astros, the Rangers have only the one win since. Everyone on the team has completely stopped both hitting and pitching.

Most everyone, anyways. One would be remiss not to mention that Rougned Odor has hit five home runs over his last six games and leads the team in RsBI since baseball resumed. While Odor’s OBP is still in the tank, he is slugging .682 since the break. Danny Santana has seventeen hits in fifty one at bats since the break, which leads the team. But beyond them two, the rest of the lineup has really been struggling to find consistency. Ronald Guzman was sent down to AAA after it was expected for him to blossom into a full time starter this year, and Joey Gallo has nineteen strikeouts in his last nine games played, and now may have a broken hamate bone in his wrist to boot.

Meanwhile, Mike Minor has gone from being the most valuable pitcher in baseball to pitching three consecutive stinkers since the break. Jesse Chavez has an ERA of 16.71 since being given a chance to start a few games after primarily being used in the bullpen this year. Lance Lynn has been the team’s one decent starter since the break, and Joey LeClerq has been the once decent reliever. Beyond them, the team has been hemorrhaging runs left and right.

While the A’s most recent road trip wasn’t a bad one, per se, the team still lost more games than they won and fell further behind the Indians and Astros in the standings. So, with Texas absolutely reeling entering this series, now is the chance for the A’s to get back into the swing of things and start winning more than the rest of the sport once again.

Potential Lineup

Shin-Soo Choo - LF

Elvis Andrus - SS

Nomar Mazara - RF

Hunter Pence - DH

Rougned Odor - 2B

Logan Forsythe - 1B

Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B

Tim Federowicz - C

Delino DeShields - CF

Pitching Matchups

Brett Anderson vs Ariel Jurado

Daniel Mengden vs Lance Lynn

Homer Bailey vs Adrian Sampson

Mike Fiers vs TBD

Game Information

Game #105: Thursday, July 25th at 7:07

Game #106: Friday, July 26th at 7:07

Game #107: Saturday, July 27th at 6:07

Game #108: Sunday, July 28th at 1:07

All games will be broadcast on NBCSCA. Saturday’s game will be on MLB Network for those out of market.