With just a week left in the season, teams are either in one of three scenarios. They are getting ready for the postseason and looking to keep things crisp and improve their seeding; they are fighting for a spot in the postseason; or finally, making plans for vacation in the offseason. That is also a word of caution betting on baseball this last week. It is a must to know what kind of situation teams are in before betting on games. In some instances though, teams are playing with nothing to lose and end up playing loose and winning. Case in point the San Francisco Giants. They were statistically removed from the playoffs Friday night, but won the next two games on Saturday and Sunday. It seems to go against all logic, but when you’re playing for nothing sometimes you have that nothing to lose mentality. For tonight, we take a look at a matchup that features a team at the edge of the postseason hunt, while the other is well removed.
The Angels are in the most important week of their season. They need to keep pace to pick up a wildcard or it will be a long offseason for Mike Trout and company. This is a spot where Trout has to step up and be who many believe is the MVP of baseball. Trout is being paid not just to bring them to the postseason but get them to the World Series. First thing is first, they need to get a playoff berth to make that a possibility. The Angels welcome the Athletics, who recently lost two straight to the Giants. Saturday was some kind of baseball game. The final score was 14-10 with the Giants coming out on top. The Athletics had a 8-4 lead but obviously it went for not. The bullpen got worked and it led to another loss the next day, 5-4. The only thing they can try and do now is make life difficult on the Angels, which I’m sure would make them crack a smile, at least for a minute. If you don’t like the MNF game tonight, maybe take a look at the diamond for your gambling fix.
Oakland Athletics vs. L.A. Angels
Felix Doubront (3-3, 5.53 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (9-9, 3.47)
The Athletics have been playing with nothing to lose and are swinging the bats well. Baseball can be a mental game, and when you’re not thinking at the plate good things happen. The Athletics have been scoring runs lately, but the pitching has been abysmal at best. Look no further than Saturday, where they allowed 14 runs in one game. Combined with Sunday, the A’s gave up 19 runs in two games. In the A’s last five games they’ve allowed an average of 8.8 runs per game!
There is no doubt that the Athletics’ bullpen is dead. They just need to play out this next week and head for the offseason. The Angels have some hitters in their offense that can take advantage of the A’s here. They should be able to take advantage of Felix Doubront. Doubront has been getting shelled lately, pitching for a 10.20 ERA in the last three starts. He also had a 1.67 WHIP. In four of his last five outings, he has allowed 4 or more runs, including two showings where he gave up 7 runs in each. On the road Doubront has a 5.06 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Things haven’t been much better for Angels’ starter Hector Santiago, who has regressed since a nice start to the year. In three of his last six starts, he has allowed 5 runs. His last three outings has yielded a 6.39 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. Seems like there should be some runs produced. I like the OVER 8.5 here.
PICK: OVER 8.5 RUNS (+102)