Though expectations are low for the Angels and Athletics this season, those of us who have been betting baseball for years are well aware of the rivalry between these teams and what it means.
With Los Angeles engineering a three run, ninth inning rally to win 7-6 last night, tonight’s winner grabs the series lead in this four-game set. (Doug’s record 1-1)
Last May Garrett Richards developed a tear in right elbow, which normally would mean Tommy John surgery. But Richards went a different route instead and did rehab and stem-cell injections. The 28-year old spring numbers were not remarkable, yet he’s been pain-free, his fastball is back in the mid-90’s and his slider, though inconsistent in location, has typical breaking action. Richards will be on definite pitch count and he’s never seen much success against Oakland with 2-4 record (Angels 2-8 overall), with bloated 4.91 ERA.
Jharel Cotton was acquired in the Rich Hill trade last season and he’s know for dynamic fastball and change-up combo and his cutter at times has high rate of swings and misses. What he will need in this contest is all these pitches working, similar to how he threw against the Angels last September in a 4-1 victory.
Keep it Going or Heat it Up!
It’s WAY too early to get excited if you are managers Mike Scioscia or Bob Melvin, however, you would like to see Albert Pujols get first hit of the season or Rajai Davis (.200 BA) or Trevor Plouffe (.143 BA) just have better swings at the plate.
Otherwise, you like what you are seeing from Mike Trout (not exactly a news flash) and Troy Calhoun if you are the Halos and Khris Davis and Jed Lowrie have looked very comfortable at the dish in the first couple of games for the A’s.
Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The MLB odds at various sportsbooks opened the team from Anaheim up at just under -120 as the favorite, with total of 7.5. Over the past three seasons, Los Angeles has taken 12 of 20 at Oakland and neither bullpen has inspired much confidence of yet with blown saves. By and large both clubs non-starters look quite weak coming into the season.
The Winner Is……
For MLB picks, though I believe Richards is the better pitcher, he is a wild card to start the year and Cotton has been most dependable in his time in the big leagues. At the moment, also prefer the A’s offense in this matchup at home and can see them winning 6-5 in Game 3 of the series.
Free MLB Play – Athletics Win