The Oakland Athletics don’t get to go home yet, but they’ll be close in San Francisco over the next two days. The Athletics haven’t played a game at home since August 4th against the Cardinals. It’s been a lengthy road trip for the Athletics, but the end is in sight. They’ll welcome the Houston Astros for a tough four-game series at home and then another tricky series against the New York Yankees.
This is a winnable two games for the A’s compared to the Astros and Yankees, so they have to make the most of it against a team like the Giants. Having said that, they don’t have an easy matchup tonight against Madison Bumgarner.
The Athletics go into San Francisco 1.5 games back of the postseason. Things aren’t as tight in the American League, so there isn’t anyone behind them currently. The Red Sox lost again last night, helping the Athletics out some. They’re slowly fading away, while the Wild Card Game is a three-team race between the Twins, Rays, and A’s. After an Indians’ win last night, the Tribe moved into 1st of the AL Central.
Their comeback is complete, but they must hold on now. After down by about ten games, the Indians have stormed back to take the lead. They were the clear favorites of the division going the 2019 campaign and they’ve been playing like it. In other words, the loser of the AL Central has a good chance of still going to the postseason, albeit one having to play in the play-in game.
Brett Anderson will get the call for the Athletics against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants tonight. Bumgarner ended up staying in San Francisco after much speculation regarding his future. The rumors were rampant and it looked like a lock that he was going to be pitching elsewhere, but the Giants held on to him for a run at a wildcard. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Giants pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. S.F. Giants Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Despite retaining Bumgarner, the Giants knew that their chances of getting into the postseason were not a lock by any means. The team was playing well at the deadline and put themselves in a position to make a run at the postseason, but unless the front office was delusional, it’s no guarantee that they play baseball in October. I will say that if I were a team going to the postseason, I’m hoping that the Giants don’t make it. They have plenty of experience at knowing how to win in October.
Bumgarner isn’t a guy I’d want to face in a do-or-die situation. He is coming off a spectacular performance, as he held the Phillies to just 1 hit in a 5-0 win. Bumgarner holds a 3.08 ERA and 0.98 WHIP at home in San Francisco. He’s also been dominant against the Athletics in the past, as they’re hitting just .186 against him in 102 at-bats.
Conversely, Anderson has gotten hammered for a .356 batting average and .406 OBP against the Giants. There are five hitters in their lineup that are hitting better than .300 against Anderson. Evan Longoria has been heating up, hitting 5-for-7 in his last two games.
Helping the Giants out this season has been their bullpen. In a year that has seen a lot of numbers on the downswing, the Giants’ pen has been solid with a 3.70 ERA for 3rd in the major leagues. That’s one reason why the Giants have won three World Series in the last decade. They have always acknowledged that a strong bullpen is necessary if you want to go anywhere. Conversely, the Athletics’ bullpen own a 4.04 ERA. I’m on the Giants to open up this two-game series with a win behind their ace.