A's vs. Cardinals: Oakland's Triggs Has The Hot Hand In Rubber Match

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, August 28, 2016 2:38 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 2:38 PM UTC

The rubber match of this three-game set between Athletics and Cardinals occurs this afternoon as Oakland evened up the series with a narrow 3-2 win yesterday. Let's examine the MLB odds in this series finale and fatten our bankroll.

I have been swinging and missing on virtually any and every underdog I include in my MLB picks since, oh I don't know, beginning of July maybe? Yesterday it appeared as though I had finally caught a big one when I advised a play on the Minnesota Twins over the heavily favored Toronto Blue Jays. Minnesota led 5-1 as the teams headed into the sixth inning, with the Twins poised to shock the AL East division leaders and send me a +200 return on my investment. But it is after all the Twins we're talking about, and of course, I was backing them, another in a series of underdogs I have yet to cash. What came next was another soul-crushing loss as the Blue Jays rallied and claimed an 8-7 win, extinguishing all the wide-eyed optimism for a big winner on a Saturday afternoon.

C'est la vie, that's just the way it goes - as Robbie Nevil crooned, circa 1986. The most important part of being a winning gambler is the same as being a winner in life. Don't dwell on your mistakes, just learn from them and move on. And thus we will peruse the MLB odds on this matchup in St. Louis between the Athletics and the Cardinals. Without further ado, let's go!


A's Tap Triggs for Finale
The Athletics will play out the string this season with a view towards bigger and better things in 2017. With only 56 wins under their collective belts and 33 left on the docket, Oakland has been beset with plenty of bad breaks with the injury bug being just one. As a result, today's starter Andrew Triggs will be pressed into action as the former reliever has had to transform from an inning here or there, to chewing up several innings at a time due to a decimated starting rotation.

After three starts it's hard to argue with the results as Triggs comes into this one boasting a 2.41 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP. While no one is insinuating the 27-year-old out of USC is the second coming of Catfish Hunter, he has had success. In his last outing he blanked the Indians for six innings and allowed just three hits in what ultimately resulted in a 1-0 Cleveland victory after the A's bullpen allowed the lone run of the game.


Betting Analysis
The A's have won three of their last four games while the Cardinals have dropped two of their last three. St. Louis will send the mercurial Jaime Garcia (10-9, 4.37, 1.34) to the bump who has vacillated between lights out and nobody home. Garcia has been torched in his last pair of outings as Houston lit him up for five runs on seven hits followed by the Mets touching him for six runs on seven hits in only four innings of work. However, Garcia was as impressive in his two previous starts as he was dreadful in those. The veteran southpaw worked eight full innings in back-to-back in victories over the Braves and Reds in which he allowed a combined two runs and nine hits.

Which Garcia will show up this afternoon? It's hard to tell but we do know that both pitchers will be unfamiliar to the hitters as neither has faced the opposing team in their respective careers. But this is an opportunity for Triggs who has embraced his role as a starter and made the most of it. People will argue that the A's don't measure up with the Cardinals offensively and that Oakland has not hit southpaws well this season. That is all true but how can you lay north of -160 on a pitcher who may not show up? The Cardinals offense has managed just five runs in the first two games of this series which means we are going to spit into the wind and back another underdog this afternoon.


Free MLB Pick: Athletics +151 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage​
Swinger’s MLB Record: 66-43, +20.89 units

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