MLB Odds Preview: Rangers head into tough stretch

The Texas Rangers will get a chance to assert themselves in the American League West division race early this week as they play host to the Oakland Athletics in a four-game series before they continue their tough stretch against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Texas/Oakland series gets underway on Monday night and runs through Thursday afternoon, with the Athletics holding down the lead in the AL West heading into this week's action on the MLB betting calendar. Texas dropped two of three games at home to Oakland when the teams last met at the end of May, and overall the Rangers are just 4-6 on the MLB odds in their 10 most recent games against the Athletics.

Monday's game has a projected pitching matchup of Dan Straily (4-2, 4.45 ERA) for Oakland vs. Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4.30 ERA) for Texas, while Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.64 ERA) is scheduled to get the ball for the Rangers on Tuesday night. The Rangers are just 1-3  in Darvish's four career starts against the Athletics, although the righthander was tagged with a hard-luck loss vs. Oakland on May 21 (one run allowed over six innings).

After taking on the Athletics the Rangers will head back home for a three-game interleague weekend series against the Cardinals, and it won't get any easier for Texas the rest of the month as they then have three games against the New York Yankees and three games against the Cincinnati Reds to close out June.

The Athletics will stay on the road this weekend as they open a three-games series on the MLB betting lines against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. Oakland then closes out June with interleague series against both the Reds and the Cardinals next week.

While Oakland leads the AL West standings it's the Boston Red Sox atop the AL East and the Detroit Tigers leading the way in the AL Central heading into the week. The Red Sox begin their week with a series at home against the Tampa Bay Rays, but they then head to Detroit for a four-game showdown against the Tigers starting Thursday.

That will be the first meeting of the season between the Red Sox and Tigers, with the two clubs splitting their last 10 matchups at five wins apiece. Totals bettors on the MLB betting lines saw the OVER/UNDER pay out at 8-2 to the OVER in those contests.

Elsewhere around the AL early this week it's Kansas City at Cleveland, Baltimore at Detroit, the White Sox at Minnesota, and Seattle at the Angels, while the Yankees play host to the Dodgers in interleague action. On the weekend the Yankees will get a visit from the Rays while Baltimore is in Toronto and the White Sox pay a visit to the Royals.

Over in the National League the Nationals and Phillies will meet in an NL East clash early this week while Pittsburgh is at Cincinnati and St. Louis looks for some easy payouts in their series against the Chicago Cubs. The Nats host the Rockies on the weekend, with Cincinnati at Arizona, and the Mets on the road in Philadelphia.


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