In my pick yesterday, I mentioned that my bet was a straight fade of Mets starter, Robert Gsellman. I just didn’t feel like he was worthy of being a road favorite against a flawed, but hot, Miami Marlins team. The guy hadn’t started a game since 2016 and was only starting this one because the Mets lost not one, not two, but three of their regular starting rotation.
I expressed that I didn’t have a lot of confidence in the Marlins, but that the number was a bad one, and I was taking a shot on a big underdog. So, I backed the Marlins and expected Gsellman to get rocked.
And Gsellman did get hammered, as he lasted just an inning and two thirds, giving up three hits and two walks, and somehow managed to only give up one run before he got pulled from the game. The game started out much as I had hoped, but it sure didn’t end how I wanted, as the Mets bullpen did a good job of holding the Marlins back, and the same could not be said for the Marlins pitching staff.
Homer happy. #MetsWin
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 18, 2020
New York ran Miami’s starter, Jordan Yamamoto, out of the game in the second inning, and the Mets played add-on against what has been a pretty decent Marlin’s bullpen this year, eventually piling up eleven runs on the night. You don’t win anything for losing close, so I guess getting blown out is the same thing.
What can you do, it happens. We took a shot on a fade of a guy that shouldn’t have been starting, at a jumbo price, and got burned. Looking back, I don’t hate the play, but we booked a loss, nonetheless. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to Arizona, where the Diamondbacks host the Athletics.
Oakland Athletics (16-7) at Arizona Diamondbacks (12-11)
The Arizona Diamondbacks are looking to extend their season-high five-game winning streak tonight at home, as they host the Oakland Athletics in game two of a four-game, home and home series. The DBacks started out the season slow, but have won nine out of their last twelve games, and have used this recent surge to move up the standings in the National League, and put themselves in a position to make the playoffs.
For Oakland, the Athletics have been one of baseball’s best teams this season, as they are in first place and are tied with the New York Yankees, for the most wins in the American League with sixteen. The A’s had a four-game winning streak of their own going before losing last night’s series opener against Arizona. The A’s had won thirteen out of fifteen games here in August before dropping game one.
Starting tonight for the DBacks is Luke Weaver (0-3 11.85 ERA), and for the A’s, it is Frankie Montas (2-1 1.57 ERA). The game total over/under is set at nine runs. The Athletics are -150 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 PM PST from Chase Field in Arizona.
Coming into this season, I couldn’t believe all the disrespect that was being thrown at the Oakland A’s. They were picked to finish behind the Houston Astros, who were going to be forced to play without their best pitcher, who bolted in free agency, and a new manager and GM. The A’s win total was just one higher than the Los Angeles Angels, a team that we all knew did not have any semblance of a pitching staff. This team won 97-games last year, and they were my pick to win the AL West Division this year.
So, while this hot start from Oakland has many people scratching their heads, I’m not one of them, as I fully expected this team to be amongst the top teams in the AL this year. The equation has been a basic one for Oakland this year. They draw a lot of walks, hit a lot of homers, and score a lot of runs. Their pitching staff has been excellent, and when you score a lot and your opponent’s score a little, you are going to win a bunch of games.
Frankie Montas (2-1 1.57 ERA)
Frankie Montas was one of the best pitchers in the AL last year before he got suspended for a PED violation. But missing 80-games last season, hasn’t seemed to slow him down at all this season, as he has been even better so far in 2020, than he was in 2019, when he was a leading Cy Young Award candidate.
Montas has made four starts this year and has pitched well each time out. He has been particularly sharp in his last two outings as he tossed a combined fourteen innings and has allowed just one earned run. Montas was scratched from his last start with upper back stiffness but says he is feeling great now and is healthy and ready to go tonight in Arizona.
When the Arizona Diamondbacks started the season out by losing eight out of their first eleven games, they had the worst record in all of baseball. DBacks fans knew it would take a stark turnaround, and quickly, if they wanted any shot at the postseason. And that is exactly what Arizona has managed to do with this recent hot streak.
The DBacks still haven’t figured out how to pitch, but their offense is hammering the baseball right now, and they are finding ways to win high scoring games night in and night out. The starting rotation has been particularly awful for Arizona, as outside of Zach Gallen, who has been excellent, this rotation is getting lit up.
Luke Weaver (0-3 11.85 ERA)
One of those starters that is getting lit up, is tonight’s starter, Luke Weaver. Weaver has made four starts this year and has yet to make it past the fourth inning in any start. He has seen his pitch count swell early in games, as he is walking a lot of guys, and he has allowed seven home runs in just 13.2 innings pitched.
His ERA of nearly twelve runs is the highest in the NL for qualified starters. While Arizona has managed to overcome the awful production from guys like Madison Bumgarner and Robbie Ray, and still find ways to win games, the DBacks are 1-3 in Weaver’s four starts with a -10-run differential.
Who Do I Like?
This line is way off. If you ready my daily picks regularly, you know that I would much prefer to find high-value underdogs to back, rather than laying wood on a favorite. But a bad number is a bad number, and the A’s should be -200 or more in this game. Yeah, Arizona has gotten hot lately, but Oakland has been hot all season long.
And when you look at the starting pitching matchup, it is a major mismatch. Montas has been elite when he has been on the mound in the last two years, and Luke Weaver is a guy with a career ERA of close to five runs. You’re telling me that I can back the far superior team, with the much better starter, and you are only going to charge me a buck fifty in juice? Ok, I’m in.
I am going to pick the low hanging fruit in this one. The A’s are a good team playing great, and the DBacks are a mediocre team on a hot streak. I think Weaver gets blown up by this explosive A’s lineup, and Montas shuts the DBacks down. Give me the Oakland Athletics tonight on the road, laying -150!