Back Angels As Slight Favorites in Series Finale at Athletics

Jay Pryce

Thursday, April 6, 2017 1:42 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017 1:42 PM UTC

Andrew Triggs gets a rare start when the A's look to even up a four-game series against the Angels in the finale on Thursday afternoon. MLB betting preview and pick here.

Los Angeles Angels (2-1)

Anaheim’s 5-0 shutout of the A’s on Wednesday night moved the club to a 25-16 head-to-head record vs. Oakland since the start of 2015. Bettors have returned nearly 13 percent profit backing the Halos in this span. Southpaw Tyler Skaggs is tasked with adding another victory to the run on Thursday.

Skaggs has seen little big-league action over the last couple of years. He spent all of 2015 on the DL recovering from Tommy John surgery and spent much of last season in the minors rehabbing. The southpaw went 3-4 with a 4.17 ERA in 2016. Lifetime, the Angels are 9-9 in his road starts, going off -102.2 underdogs on average. The lefty is armed with a fourseam fastball showing late rising action and a groundball-inducing curve.

The current A’s lineup has sent four batters to the plate against Skaggs (Yonder Alonso, Jed Lowrie, Rajai Davis, and Adam Rosales). Combined, they are 7-for-16 with a 1.063 OPS.


Oakland Athletics (1-2)

Manager Bob Melvin is already juggling his rotation due to injury. In addition to ace Sonny Gray landing on the DL with a lat injury to begin the year, right-hand reliever John Axford is out of action for at least 10 days with a strained right shoulder. The reshuffle sees Andrew Triggs get a rare start this afternoon.

The 28-year-old worked out of the bullpen most of last season. In 24 appearances, only six were as a starter. Nor did he start much in the minors with 167 of 168 outings coming in relief. Oakland is 1-5 in the six starts, lit up for 7.0 runs per game. Triggs averages 4.3 innings. The already-beleaguered bullpen could be in for a long shift.

The A’s were one of the worst-hitting teams in 2016, accruing a .302 wOBA. Only the Padres (.297) and Phillies (.296) recorded lesser in the bigs. Oakland struggled against lefties particularly, hitting just .244 overall.

Southpaw starters have owned the club the last two seasons. Since 2015, the A’s are 31-58 (34.8 percent) against lefties. Only the Rockies own a lower winning percentage (33.0) during this time.  The Angels are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings when sending a southpaw to the hill. More than half of these games involved the now-departed Hector Santiago.

Anaheim has taken the last of a four-game series vs. the A’s three years in a row. Expect another win here. The Angels get to Oakland’s bullpen early in this one.

Free MLB Pick: Angels -110Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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