There has been plenty of talk about the Oakland Athletics and their recent surge in the American League. They’ve trekked all the way back to overtake the Mariners for the final wildcard. Not too long ago the A’s were 11 games back of the Mariners, and now and trying to pull away from them. While they’ve been good, there have been doubts that they can compete with the big boys of baseball.
They will have an opportunity to prove that against the Dodgers on Tuesday night in front of a home crowd. The Dodgers narrowly avoided a sweep by the Astros as they earned a tight 3-2 win on Sunday. The day before the scene was totally different, with the ‘Stros taking a beating by a score of 14-0. If you were to just look at the score, you maybe would have thought it was a preseason football score between the Texans and Rams. A 14-0 final sounds like it could be a Texans’ preseason game, so it could have made for some confusion. But no, that was just the Dodgers getting reamed.
The Dodgers needed to salvage the series with a win and that’s what they did, though. Walker Buehler was able to outduel Gerrit Cole and turn it into a 1-run win for the Dodgers. With the win, the Dodgers kept pace with the Diamondbacks at 62-51. As I write this, the Diamondbacks are currently in extras against the Phillies. It’s anyone’s at this point without much room for error. Also, the wildcard isn’t a sure thing either. The D-Backs likely aren’t going to go away, so the Dodgers must be sharp or risk missing out with a stacked lineup. Rich Hill who seems to have avoided the blister issue has been pitching well for the Dodgers. He started out cold but has really done a fine job to fight back in 2018. Sean Manaea will counter for the Athletics. Head below for our free Dodgers vs. Athletics pick.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Oakland Athletics Pick
Rich Hill (4-4, 3.63 ERA) vs. Sean Manaea (10-7, 3.38 ERA)
It’s been a solid season for Sean Manaea, who in his third-year as a major league pitcher, is having his best campaign yet. Manaea enters with an ERA of 3.38, an improvement from 4.37 in 2017. When the A’s traded Sonny Gray to the Yankees, they were hoping that someone in the rotation would take on a bigger role. Manaea has answered the call and has served the A’s well as their top guy in the rotation. They’ve also gotten surprise production out of Edwin Jackson. Oakland also just bolstered their rotation with the addition of Mike Fiers from the Tigers. Fiers is having his best year yet, but we’ll see if the production translates in Oakland as well.
The Dodgers have clobbered Manaea in his career, though. They’re hitting .357 with a .400 OBP in 28 at-bats. Just about everyone that has had some at-bats against Manaea on the Dodgers roster is hitting above .300. In his last meeting against the Dodgers, he took a 4-0 loss in April. Rich Hill was getting clobbered to open the season, but it appears that it was mainly due to pitching with a blister. He’s been on fire recently, as he goes into Oakland with an ERA of 0.95 and 1.05 WHIP in his previous three outings. He also hasn’t allowed more than 1 run per start since July 10th. Hill has also been better on the road with a 3.09 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. I favor the Dodgers in what should be an entertaining matchup in Oakland.