LA Angels vs. Oakland Athletics MLB Pick – August 21, 2020

    Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.23 ERA) vs. Mike Fiers (2-1, 5.96 ERA)

The Los Angeles Angels had to bury their heads in the hand again on Thursday night at Oracle Park. They were on the receiving end of another embarrassing loss, as the San Francisco Giants gave them a 10-5 loss. It was the third straight bad loss for the Angels.

They already lost to the Giants by a score of 8-2 and 7-2, and then a 10-5 loss was the cherry on top Thursday night. The Angels did manage to win the series opener by a score of 7-6, but quickly regressed. The Angels needed a Tommy La Stella walk-off in the 9th to save a 7-6 win.

They were down 6-5 going into the final frame and needed a blown save to get into the win column. That’s not how the Angels want to win games, but it was certainly better than what was about to happen in the next three outings. With the three losses, the Angels have slipped to 8-18 on the season without much hope of winning the AL West.

It doesn’t feel like it, but we’re almost at the mid-way point of the season. The Angels have played 26 games, so they’re only four games away from 50% of the regular season completed. Despite an expanded postseason, I think that’s going to be it for the Angels. They won’t be playing baseball in October. The Athletics currently have a ten-game lead on the Angels. The A’s are clear of the Astros by 2.5 games for first in the division.

The Astros have been playing better baseball of late, so the Athletics can’t let up in the second-half. They’re coming off a 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday. Sean Manaea was in good form for the A’s, as he went 5.1 innings with just 1 run allowed. They are a considerably better team if Manaea is on point in the second-half.

He had a slow start, but could be turning a corner. Oakland needs the same from Mike Fiers. Fiers has not been in good shape this season. He’s struggled and must turn it around quickly. He gets the starting nod for Oakland, while the Angels are expected to go with Andrew Heaney. Head below for our free LA Angels vs. Oakland Athletics pick for August 21, 2020.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics MLB Baseball Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • Angels -1.5 (+140)
  • Athletics +1.5 (-160)
Moneyline:

  • Angels (-115)
  • Athletics (+105)
Total Points:

  • Over 9.5 (-110)
  • Under 9.5 (-110)

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LA Angels vs. Oakland Athletics Prediction:

It feels like a broken record going over and over again, but it still rings true for the Angels: they need some help in their starting rotation. The Angels were hoping that sophomore Jose Suarez would impress in his first start of 2020 after struggling as a rookie. However, Suarez was not in good form last night, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to depend on him to provide some light in the rotation. Andrew Heaney has been unable to provide much of a lift for pitching staff in 2020.

Heaney, a 29-year-old in his seventh season, has been mediocre with an ERA of 4.74 and 1.30 WHIP. That’s just what Heaney is, though, so expecting more out of him is wishing thinking by Angels’ fans. In 84 games in his major league career, Heaney owns a 4.45 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He’s in that same ballpark in 2020.

His most recent outings were on the awful side. Heaney gave up 5 earned runs against the Rangers on the road, and then he followed up with 4 more earned runs against the Dodgers. Heaney has surrendered 13 hits and 9 earned runs in his previous 9.1 innings of work.

There is some positive news for Heaney, though. He has held the A’s in check for a .115 batting average and 10 runs in 94 at-bats. However, Roman Laureano has beat Heaney up for a .375 average and 2 home runs in 8 at-bats. Matt Chapman and Mark Canha have also taken Heaney deep. A bad Angels’ bullpen is unlikely going to help out on Friday night.

Mike Fiers’ command hasn’t been present in 2020, so that might be the Angels opportunity to stop the bleeding. The Angels have had a lot of success versus Fiers in the past. They’re hitting .330 with a .379 OBP in 167 at-bats. Fiers has conceded 11 home runs and 29 runs against the Angels. Trout is responsible for five of those long balls. He’s hitting .364 versus Fiers. There are also five other players hitting better than .300 against Fiers on the Angels.

Fiers has been off the mark, with a 5.96 ERA and 1.48 WHIP through 191 starts. He’s conceded at least 7 hits in three out of four starts this season. And now he has to deal with an Angels team he’s historically been bad facing. The Angels knocked Fiers around for a 9.00 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in their first meeting this season. The team combined for a .368 batting average. I’d consider playing the OVER in Oakland.

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The Bet
OVER 9.5
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.