The Oakland Athletics put on a pitching clinic on Saturday, as they blanked the Diamondbacks by a score of 3-0. It was a nice bounce back performance after getting derailed on Friday night, 7-1 at home in Oakland. Starting pitcher, Daniel Mengden, was sharp as a tack, as he allowed just 2 hits across a shutout performance in 9 innings. The A’s saved their bullpen, with Mengden going the distance for Oakland. They will turn to Trevor Cahill to keep it rolling on Sunday. Cahill has been a force for the Athletics in 2018, as he’s helped the team to respectable record of 27-25 in 2018.
Cahill started his career in Oakland. He spent three years between 2009 to 2011 in Oakland, and then the next eight years with the D-Backs, Braves, Cubs, Royals, and Padres. Cahill found his way back to California and the A’s where his career started. He had one of his best years of his career in 2010 with the Athletics. Cahill posted a 2.97 ERA in a starting role.
After he left Arizona in 2014, he served as primarily a reliever with fairly decent results. However, I think he felt he should be in a starting rotation. Cahill had eleven starts with the Padres a year ago and looks like he is going to shoulder a full load in 2018. It’s been a good couple of months for Cahill in Oakland. Ace Zack Greinke will get the call opposite Cahill this afternoon for the Diamondbacks. Head below for our free Diamondbacks vs. Athletics pick.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Oakland Athletics Pick
Zack Greinke (3-3, 3.71 ERA) vs. Trevor Cahill (1-2, 2.75 ERA)
Zack Greinke has settled in nicely in the desert, but there are heavy expectations to do more. His numbers have been sharp over last season and the start of 2018, but he is on a monster contract. It wasn’t the best welcome for him in 2016, as he finished with a 4.37 ERA. Those aren’t 206.5 million-dollar numbers. Remember, Greinke was coming off a year in which he posted a 1.66 ERA with the Dodgers, so there were massive expectations.
A 4.37 ERA was in fact the second-worst year of his career. The other coming back in 2005 with the Royals, a 5.80 ERA. Greinke didn’t have an ERA above 3.00 since 2012 with the Brewers. In three years with the Dodgers it was all sub-3.00. Now in three years with the D-Backs, he hasn’t accomplished the same in one season.
What has really been rattling Greinke is when he must take his show to the road. He dealt with anxiety early in his career, and while we can’t put the problem solely on that, it’s almost like he has been a different pitcher when he isn’t pitching in Arizona. Greinke has posted a 1.69 ERA at home, but on the road, that number spikes to 6.94. In four outings on the road, he has failed to hold teams to less than 4 runs. The Cardinals, Dodgers, and Brewers all scored 4 or more on Greinke.
Even more interesting for Greinke has been his numbers against this Athletics roster. In 48 at-bats, five A’s batters have hit Greinke for a .396 average and .453 OBA. Jonathan Lucroy is an impressive 11-for-7 against Greinke, a .636 batting average. Additionally, Matt Joyce and Jed Lowrie have both taken him deep. The underrated Trevor Cahill has been almost perfect at home across 20 innings of work. He holds a 0.90 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, which includes two shutouts against the White Sox and Orioles. The public will load up on the D-Backs at this price on Greinke, but Cahill has been getting overlooked by the average sports bettor this season. I like the A’s to edge out the Diamondbacks again on Sunday.