It’s the last week of regular season action in Major League Baseball. Some teams are gearing up for the offseason, while others are getting prepared for the postseason, and plenty more are contending for a spot to play in the postseason. Off the baseball field, Jose Fernandez tragically passed away Saturday night in a boating accident. I said that he was going to be one of the next big things in baseball back in 2013, and also cashed in with him often during that year.
Fernandez had many more years of success ahead of him, but it was all unfortunately taken away too soon. The Angels went through a tough situation in 2009 after pitcher Nick Adenhart died in a car accident. He passed away hours following his first major league start, which was a good one. Let’s move on from that depressing news and focus on the plethora of good baseball on tap this week.
One of our feature games tonight is pretty meaningless. If you want to watch the postseason race, this isn’t going to be the game for you. If you are looking for a game to bet on in the late-night hours, the Athletics and Angels will be what you’re looking for. The A’s and Angels share a couple things in common, the first and most obvious they share the same geographic landscape. They are also both losers in the standings and will be sitting at home or on vacation in October.
The Angels have been topsy-turvy since May. They came out in the first month with a bad start, and then from there, they were either cold as ice or had something going on. Streaky is a good word to use for the Angels. Right now they have been playing good baseball, but it wouldn’t be any surprise if they went winless the rest of the season. The Angels are currently in the midst of a four-game winning streak. They swept the Houston Astros to hurt their postseason resume. The Athletics have been lifeless and the team is looking forward to a tropical vacation, or so there play would indicate.
Oakland Athletics vs. L.A. Angels
Sean Manaea (6-9, 4.03 ERA) vs Jered Weaver (12-12, 5.20 ERA)
The Athletics have decided to shut it down at the plate. Like a team that isn’t trying to get injured or something. Across their last five games, the A’s have averaged just 1.6 runs per game, including 0 runs in their last two games. The Athletics provided the Astros with a glimmer of hope for a wildcard, playing dead and getting swept. Immediately after that, the Angels took the Astros for a couple of wins. Both pitchers featured tonight in this matchup, Manaea and Weaver, have been pitching well toward the end of the year. Manaea hasn’t allowed a run in three starts, shutting the Astros down twice and the Royals once. Manaea took a loss the last time he was in Anaheim, getting hit for 5 runs in a 5-4 loss. He ultimately took a 6.35 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 5.2 innings of work.
Weaver is near the end of his career. He hasn’t indicated what he’s going to be doing for next season, but there is the possibility he retires. If it is the end of the road, he doesn’t have anything to be upset about. Weaver has certainly regressed, though, going from an ERA of 3.27 in 2013 to a 5.20 ERA this year. He has turned back the clocks in some recent starts, allowing 2 or less runs in four of his last six outings. Kind of hard to go against Weaver at home here against a struggling A’s lineup. I expect Weaver to push himself a little harder, in what might be the last week of his career. I’m taking the Angels as underdogs on Monday night.
PICK: ANGELS TO WIN +106