The Oakland A's have a long stretch of baseball in front of them if they hope to make the playoffs, and that all starts tonight with the first of a four game set against the Angels. Join us as we follow the odds and share our MLB picks for each game of this series.
By: Willie Bee -
Payback is hell and revenge is sweet, or so the sayings
go. That has certainly been the case
this week in Anaheim
where the Los Angeles Angels are having a devil of time with the Oakland
Athletics who are enjoying their trip to the Big A.
The AL West foes will draw their final regular season series
to a close with a Thursday matinee, and the series-ender has a tremendous
pitching matchup with Brett Anderson on the hill for the A's opposite Halos ace
Jered Weaver. Los Angeles opened as -150 chalk, or
thereabouts, but the MLB odds have shifted down overnight to list the Angels in
the upper -130s, low -140s.
A 7.5 run total is available, and the UNDER is priced a
little higher at many baseball betting windows.
That drop on the moneyline is due in part to Oakland's
performance on Wednesday night, a 4-1 victory that kept the A's red-hot with
their 12th straight road win, sixth straight dubya overall, and third
consecutive triumph in this series. They'll
go for the sweep today just a week after the Angels broomed the A's up the
coast in Oakland.
started the year on the DL following Tommy John surgery, and has been nothing
short of brilliant since finally hitting the mound in late-August. The southpaw has reeled off four wins in as
many starts, allowing just two earned runs over the stretch. Yet to yield a long ball, Anderson has a fine 19:3 strikeout to walk
ratio in 26 frames.
Speaking of reeling, the Angels will turn to Weaver to stop
their skid and avoid a sweep in the set. The lanky righthander missed his last start with some shoulder soreness,
and the Halos were just 2-3 in his five assignments prior to that. Weaver has been very stingy vs. the A's in
his career (2.47 ERA, 153 IP), this year especially with a tiny 0.38 ERA and
the Angels winning all three of his starts against them.
It's difficult to bet against either the A's right now or
Weaver at home, and so my play will be to get behind both hurlers and pay a little
extra for the UNDER.
pick: Under 7.5 (-120)
By: Willie Bee -
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, for
a chance to see the Oakland Athletics Road Show and Revue. The
critics all agree it's a performance for the ages with a great cast
of characters who just may turn you into believers.
Oakland is certainly turning the Los
Angeles Angels into believers this week. The A's escaped with a 6-5
victory on Tuesday to extend their road streak to 11 straight wins,
and they'll try to make it an even dozen tonight once again as the
underdogs. Ervin Santana takes his turn in the rotation for the
Angels who are -125 on the MLB odds board; Oakland counters with
rookie AJ Griffin in a game carrying an 8 run total priced an extra
10 cents to the OVER.
Bob Melvin's gang is playing as well as
anyone the past month with a 20-5 record since dropping three
straight on the road in mid-August. Four of those defeats came at
home, three of them a week ago to these Angels who have now fallen
4.5 behind the A's in the division race, and 2.5 out of the wild card
Oakland's real road test begins next
week when the A's head out on a 10-game trip that will take them
through Detroit, New York and Texas. We can't look ahead to that
trip just yet as we focus on tonight's contest in Anaheim.
Griffin has been an unexpected find for
the Athletics who are 8-2 in his 10 previous starts, 3-1 in his road
assignments. After missing almost all of August with shoulder
soreness, Griffin has returned with two straight wins over the Red
Sox and Mariners with 12.1 combined innings, 12 Ks and only two runs
charged to his ledger.
Santana has been pretty impressive
himself the last two times out, and the Angels are riding a 7-1
stretch with the Dominican on the mound. He also has pretty
impressive stats against the A's the past few seasons, sporting a 5-3
record with a 3.00 ERA in his last 10 starts vs. Oakland.
Griffin making his first start against
the Angels is a nice point to consider, especially with Santana as
unpredictable as any starter this season. I'll neither follow the
A's nor fade them under these conditions, however, and will instead
make a play on the OVER.
My pick: Over 8 (-115)
By: Willie Bee -
Big league clubs always have more flexibility in September
with the expanded rosters. That's a good
thing for both the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday when they
continue their crucial four-game series.
In need of an extra arm due to Jered Weaver's shoulder
injury, Mike Scioscia has opted for Jerome Williams in Game 2. A's field boss Bob Melvin is in the same
situation with Brandon McCarthy following his horrific injury, and will go with
Dan Straily in hopes of extending a 4-game winning streak.
A glance at the SBR odds page shows the Halos around -155
for the contest. Baseball bettors
looking to get down on the total will have an 8 run mark to contend with.
grabbed a big win in Monday's opener that rippled throughout the American
League standings. The victory helped the
A's to a two-game cushion at the top of the wild card race, and gives them the
second-best record in the AL behind the Texas Rangers who lead the West by
three games. The Angels slipped 3.5
games behind the Athletics, and 1.5 out of the second wild card slot.
Straily was up for his first taste of MLB life in August
when he made three starts for Oakland. The A's won all three, two of which were
solid efforts by the young righthander. The one rough outing did come against these Angels, however, who popped
four home runs among their eight hits off Straily.
Williams will be making his first start since July 19 when
he was bumped to the Halos pen after less-than-desirable results in the
rotation. He saw the A's once as a
starter in May, allowing just two runs while working into the seventh, but also
issuing five walks and getting no help from his bats in a 2-1 loss as a small
favorite in Oakland.
There's no way I can back Williams in this scrap, while also
a bit hesitant to jump on the A's at a nice price. I will be adding the OVER to my MLB picks for Tuesday's matchup.
My pick: Over 8
By: Willie Bee -
Twenty-three games in 24 days. That's what remains on the regular season schedule for the Oakland Athletics who will have just one day off between now and October 3.
Oakland's off day won't come this week, and we're going to follow them all seven days with the first four at the Los Angeles Angels and the last three back home against the Baltimore Orioles. The big week for the A's starts with a chance to get even with the Halos who swept a series in Oakland last week and are charging hard up the American League standings.
Game 1 pits a pair of righthanders on the mound in Anaheim for the start a
little past 10 PM (ET). The A's will
turn to Jarrod Parker while Dan Haren goes for the Angels, who opened as -160
favorites on the MLB odds board, but can be found for -155 at some shops listed
by SBR odds. Monday's total sits in the 7.5
to 8 range, depending where you make your wagers.
Both squads bring win streaks into the series, Oakland's at three after sweeping the Mariners in Seattle over the weekend and LA sitting on six straight
dubyas with the aforementioned broom job in Oakland last week followed by a weekend sweep
at home over the Detroit Tigers.
No team is hotter than the Angels, in fact. Mike Scioscia's squad has won 11 of 12 and 15
of the last 18 to get back into the postseason picture that looked bleak when
LA opened August by losing 13 of its first 18 games that month. The Angels have
pulled themselves to within 2.5 games of the A's who lead the American League
wild card race, and both crews are still very much in the AL West chase where
the Texas Rangers are 3.5 ahead of Oakland.
It's the last series on the regular season slate between the
two rivals, so the pressure is really on the Angels to make it count and close
the gap with the Athletics. Taking all
three in Oakland
last week left LA with an 8-7 edge this year with the last nine between the
clubs played up north. The A's won four
of the first six played here in Anaheim
back in April and May, all but one of those failing to reach the total.
Parker suffered one of those losses to the Angels last week,
though his effort on the mound wasn't to blame. The rookie went seven innings and allowed just two runs; Oakland relievers let in
four more late in a 6-1 loss. That
halted a string of four straight outings by Parker that went into the win
column for the A's.
He has pitched pretty well against the Halos all season with
a 3.05 ERA and fantastic 19:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in three starts covering
nearly 21 innings. The Oakland lineup has responded with just two
runs in those games, however, and the Angels won them all.
Dan Haren will be looking for his third straight win, but just
his first at home since late-July. His
last two assignments in Anaheim
were disasters with the righty combining for just seven innings of action while
giving up 12 runs (10 earned).
Like Parker, Haren has some nice stats against Monday's
opposition though LA's victory a week ago is the only one in the three
starts. Haren's 2.89 ERA in those three
games are accompanied by allowing Oakland
hitters to bat just .209 against him.
Each team will be without a key member of its starting
rotation for the series. Oakland's
Brandon McCarthy is just lucky to be alive after taking an Erick Aybar liner
off his head last Wednesday. He remains
hospitalized after surgery and will obviously miss the rest of the season, if
not more. Jered Weaver could return at
some point this series after dealing with a shoulder issue that caused him to
miss his last start. We should know more
after he throws on the side Monday.
I'm going to get behind both hurlers tonight and their
penchants this season for good efforts against these lineups. I will be adding the UNDER in Anaheim to my MLB picks tonight.
Free MLB Pick: UNDER