The Oakland Athletics start the week in Detroit after digesting an ugly loss against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday by a score of 10-3. The Tigers were in the same boat on Sunday afternoon, as they were derailed by the Cleveland Indians, 12-2. The A’s were winners in six of seven games before they lost yesterday. Despite the poor performance on Sunday, the Athletics are playing far better baseball than 2017.
They finished 5th in the AL West with a record of 75-87. There was some good to be had in spots, though. Notably, later in the season they were heating up. It was too late for them to make a run at the postseason, but it was nevertheless a good sign that they were playing their best baseball at the end of the season. Some of it has carried over, but they have quite a bit of work to do to garner any attention in the AL West.
They have to contend in a division that includes the Houston Astros. Before the Astros begin to lose their lustre, which could be a while from now, the A’s will likely play behind in the division. It wasn’t too long ago that the Athletics were playing for a trip to the World Series. In both instances, the A’s were downed by the Detroit Tigers in 2012 and 2013.
There is some history between the Athletics and Tigers, but it’s been some years since it meant anything. The A’s are well known for making something out of nothing and I believe they could be close to doing it again. What’s holding them back then? I believe you have to take a look at the overall body of work from their starting pitching. The bullpen has been fine, and the offense is playing well lately. Yesterday was the first time they were held under 4 runs in ten days. They will hopefully see a payoff from the Sonny Gray trade. Get our free Athletics vs. Tigers pick below. Note that this is an afternoon contest.
Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Edwin Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 4.95 ERA)
Edwin Jackson may have only spent one year in Detroit, but it was the best year of his career in 2009. He started in 33 games for Tigers and compiled an ERA of 3.62. Jackson seen some success down the road after that, but he was never able to come close to being as durable. Injuries have plagued him in almost every year since then.
Jackson hasn’t appeared in a major league game since September 28th as a member of the Washington Nationals. He finished with just 13 starts with the Nationals in 2017, a year before he made 13 starts for the Padres. The last year he pitched a full season, it looked like his career was done. He struggled with an ERA of 6.33 in 2014 and has only seen those 26 starts since that year. Jackson will tie an MLB record today, as the Athletics will make for the 13th team he has played for.
Jordan Zimmermann has had a knack of finding the injury bug as well. Zimmermann has been nothing but a drain on the wallet of the Tigers. He was brought in to be a replacement for Max Scherzer and has been nothing but a waste of money. Zimmermann can be lumped into the same group with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, money that could have been spent differently.
He’s been fighting injuries yet again and has been on and off in 2018. In eight starts, Zimmermann has posted an ERA of 4.95 with the Tigers. He has only made two starts since the beginning of May. The last outing resulted in 4 hits and 3 earned runs allowed against the White Sox. I don’t have much confidence in Jackson or Zimmermann. The OVER has gone 9-1 in Athletics games in their last ten. Largely in part because of their starting pitching, and the offense scoring around 6 runs per game. If you want some Monday afternoon baseball to bet, I’d take a look at the OVER at Comerica in Detroit.