The wins just keep on coming! Our hot finish to August continued yesterday when we picked up another win when we backed the St. Louis Cardinals against the Colorado Rockies. The Cardinals are the hottest team in the majors right now and are surging up the standings in the NL. I liked them a lot last night as their starter Miles Mikolas had been lights out in August.
And heading into the bottom of the fifth inning it looked like this one would be easy. The Cards led 7-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, and it looked like we would coast to the win. Then Mikolas forgot how to get guys out all the sudden, and the Rockies posted a five spot in the bottom of the fifth to tighten things up.
But in the end, that is as close as the Rockies would get, and the game ended 7-5 St. Louis, and we picked up another win. The Cardinals have now won eighteen of their twenty-two games in the month of August and are just three games back of the first place Chicago Cubs for the National League Central crown. What a turn around for St. Louis! For today’s game, we will look at the game between another surging squad, the Oakland Athletics, as they play in Minnesota against the Twins.
The Oakland Athletics are in Minnesota Saturday for game three of a four-game series against the Twins. The Twins took game one on Thursday, and the A’s bounced back last night in game two to tie the series up at one game apiece. The Twins have fallen completely out of contention and are just playing out the string at this point. While the A’s are very much in the playoff mix in the uber-competitive American League playoff picture. The A’s are hot on the heels of the Houston Astros for the AL West Division race, and they currently occupy the second wild-card in the AL, four games ahead of the Seattle Mariners.
Starting tonight for the A’s is Mike Fiers (9-6 3.21 ERA), and for the Twins, it is Stephen Gonsalves (0-1 27.00 ERA). The A’s are -150 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Target Field in Minnesota.
When the Oakland A’s made the move at the trade deadline to acquire starting pitcher Mike Fiers from the Detroit Tigers, it wasn’t lauded as a World Series caliber move. It was a nice piece, added to a decent team. But here we are almost a month later, and the A’s are surging, and Fiers is pitching his brains out for Oakland.
In three starts with his new team, Fiers has been lights out. He is 2-0 with an ERA just north of one run. The A’s have won each of his three starts, and he has allowed just three earned runs in eighteen and a third innings. And this hasn’t been a total surprise for Oakland as this guy was pitching pretty well in Detroit before they brought him over at the deadline. In July, for the Tigers, Fiers had a 2.23 ERA in five starts.
The Twins will be trying out a new prospect today in the form of Stephen Gonsalves. Gonsalves made his first ever MLB start and first ever appearance last week when he was called up to face the Chicago White Sox. To say it didn’t go well would be an understatement. The kid got hammered for four runs on six hits before they mercifully pulled him from the game after just an inning and a third of work. We don’t know a lot about Gonsalves expect that he probably isn’t ready to be a regular in the big leagues just yet and that he got pounded by what might be the worst team in all of baseball.
This is what late August baseball has become in the modern era. One team, in this case, the Oakland A’s, is fiercely competing to make the playoffs and will do anything they can to win the game. The other team, the Minnesota Twins, are giving starts to guys we have never heard of to see if they have any value to add to next year’s team.
This can lead to a lot of lopsided games. And that is what we have going on here tonight. The A’s have one of the best offenses in the AL, and they are pounding their way to the playoffs. I have a feeling poor Stephen Gonsalves is going to get rocked yet again in this one. And this Twins offense shouldn’t have much if anything for Mike Fiers. This game has blowout written all over it.
When I peek at the run line, I see I can get a full fifty cent premium on the run line to back the A’s. That isn’t the most you are ever going to get on a run line, but to be able to back the A’s on the run line in this one at +100 seems like a ton of value to me. And that is just what I will do. Give me the Oakland Athletics laying a run and a half at +100 tonight in game three from Minnesota.