Sometimes a game just doesn’t go our way. That was the case yesterday when the Boston Red Sox got steamrolled by the New York Yankees. We backed the Red Sox, the major’s best team, getting a bunch of juice and I felt like it was a good spot. But in the end, the game wasn’t competitive. David Price had his worst start in months for Boston, and Luis Severino looked the ace he was for the first half of the season.
With the win, the Yankees staved off letting Boston clinch the American League East Division title on their home field, for one more night at least. Boston will be back at it tonight to try and close out the division title they have failed to close out the last two nights. The Yankees have needed these wins as they hold just a two and a half game lead over the Oakland Athletics for home field advantage in the wild-card round of the playoffs. For today’s pick, I will head down to Oakland to check in on those Athletics as they host the Angels for game three of a three-game set.
The Los Angeles Angels are in Oakland Thursday for the deciding game of a three-game series with the Athletics. The Angels took game one on Tuesday, and the A’s took game two last night to even the series up. This has been a high scoring and fun series as the teams have combined for twenty-six runs in the first two games.
Starting today for the A’s is Edwin Jackson (5-3 3.17 ERA), and for the Angels it is Matt Shoemaker (2-1 3.98 ERA). The A’s are -125 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 PM PST from Oakland Alameda County Stadium.
The A’s have been one of the hottest team in baseball for months now and are just days away from locking up a spot in the playoffs. The problem for Oakland is that the Tampa Bay Rays are even hotter, and they are making up ground on the A’s nearly every day. Oakland played in Tampa against the Rays last week and dropped two out of three, and the Rays have closed the gap to just five games. To say the A’s need a win today in this game would be quite the understatement.
Oakland will turn to veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson to get the job done today. And that is exactly what Jackson has been doing all season long since joining the A’s starting rotation in late June. The A’s have won nine out of the last ten games that Jackson has started and twelve out of fifteen total, and he has a more than respectable ERA of 3.17. Jackson pitched against these Angels a month ago and had what was his best start of the season. On August 11th, Jackson pitched seven and a third innings and didn’t allow a run on three hits against the Angels and picked up the win for his efforts.
Matt Shoemaker has missed basically the entire season up to this point. He returned to the team in September and has made three starts for the Angels with limited results. After throwing five shutout innings against the Texas Rangers in his first start back with the team since March, Shoemaker has gotten roughed up in his last two outings. In his last two starts, Shoemaker has allowed six earned runs in just nine and two-thirds of an innings pitched.
How can you not like the Oakland Athletics in this one? They are playing well right now, having gone 10-6 during the month of September and are in a must-win scenario. And they are at home, where they are seventeen games over .500 on the season. Throw in the fact that Edwin Jackson has somehow found the fountain of youth somewhere in the bay area, and it is hard not to like the A’s in this one.
The Angels have been playing decent ball this month, they have a winning record on the month at 9-8, but they have lost four out of their last six games, and I see them being far outmatched in this one. The A’s showed just how powerful their bats are in last night’s game when they posted a ten spot on the Halos and I expect more hard-swinging bats today in the series finale.
So, I will back the much better team, at home in this one. I am quite surprised to see this number as a tight one, and it is moving towards the Angels here in the early morning betting. I will get on the other side of that movement and enjoy the discounted price. Give me the Oakland Athletics as home favorites today in game three at -125!