We picked up another win last night when we took the Arizona Diamondbacks as underdogs against the St. Louis Cardinals. The D-Backs have won four straight games and own the best record in the National League, yet they have been a betting underdog in each of these four wins. When will the books and the betting public figure out this team is a good one? I already have, and I am enjoying taking advantage of it.
Last night’s pick came down to the fact that I really liked the starting pitching matchup for Arizona. Robbie Ray is an elite level pitcher that is just coming into his prime and was a likely candidate for a good outing after getting shelled in his first start. The Cardinals trotted out Adam Wainwright, who has only been good in name now for several years. The game went a lot as I expected it to.
Wainwright struggled and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning and finished with a line of three and two-thirds innings pitched, giving up four hits and three runs, all earned. Ray, on the other hand, was dominant and went six innings, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out nine. A good performance from the Cardinals bullpen kept this game close but, in the end, we took home the underdog win. Today I will look at another team that is playing very well right now, the Los Angeles Angels, as they host the Oakland Athletics.
The Oakland Athletics are in Los Angeles Friday night for game one of a three-game series with the Angels. These two teams matched up last week in Oakland to kick off the season, and the Angels took three out of four games. Los Angeles comes into this game fresh off beating the Cleveland Indians in two out of three games and they have the second most wins in the American League this season.
For Oakland, the A’s split their last series with the Texas Rangers two games apiece and are fighting to get back to .500. The Angels will start Parker Bridwell (0-0 0.00 ERA), and the A’s will go with Daniel Gossett (0-1 9.00 ERA). The Angels are -130 money line betting favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM PST from Angel Stadium.
I will be the first to admit that I was very skeptical of Shohei Ohtani this season. The guy had a lot of hype surrounding him, but to me, he felt like a gimmick. After a disastrous spring training that saw Ohtani struggle both at the plate and on the mound, it looked like the Japanese superstar might start the season in the minor leagues. The Halos decided to go ahead and put him on the big ball club, and that decision looks to have been the right one.
Ohtani is undefeated on the mound at 1-0 and has been absolutely killing it at the plate. Through his first four games, Ohtani is hitting .429 with two homers and five RBI. The Angels are expected to start Ohtani at designated hitter tonight against Oakland. As I mentioned earlier, I was a bit of an Ohtani hater coming into the season after a slow start in spring training, but this guy is quickly winning me over and proving that not only can he play at a major league level, he can dominate.
The Angels will start Parker Bridwell tonight in his first start of the season. Bridwell was on my radar very early on last season as he started his first ever full season as a regular starter out with a bang. He started his career as a starter with a 7-1 record and finished up last season with a 10-3 record and an ERA of just 3.64. Ten wins are not bad for a guy that didn’t make his first start until May 30th.
Bridwell isn’t going to strike too many guys out, he likes to pitch to contact. But he has shown an amazing ability to get guys out at a high rate, and I expect only better things from him this season as he now has a full year of experience under his belt. Keep your eye on this kid this season, he is a lock for double-digit wins if he stays healthy.
The A’s counter with Daniel Gossett. Gossett already saw this Angels lineup once, and it did not go well for the young right-hander. Gossett managed to go just four innings and gave up four runs on six hits and two walks. It’s not the kind of way you wanted to start your season if you are Daniel Gossett. The Athletics will need a much better effort out of him tonight, or this game could get out of hand quick.
This feels like a mismatch to me. You have a hot team that is the much more talented squad playing against an A’s team that won’t sniff the playoffs this year. We are getting the best of the starting pitching matchup as well. I’m not sure much has changed since the Angels lit up Gossett last week and I expect a similar performance tonight. The Angels dominated the first series, and I expect more of the same here tonight.
If you like the Angels in this one, and you should jump on it now as this line has been moving all morning. The sharps and public alike are jumping on the Angels and this line could close out at -150 or more, so take it now.
Give me the Angels as home favorites tonight!