Capper Predicts Athletics to Win Game 2 Against Braves

Willie Bee

Saturday, August 16, 2014 12:10 PM GMT

Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 12:10 PM GMT

Atlanta's offense woke up with four homers to get their MLB odds series vs. the A's off to a winning note. Oakland is now favored to even the set on Saturday.

Was it a sign of things to come for the Atlanta Braves lineup on Friday night, or just another bad performance by Jason Hammel? Perhaps it was a little of both that keyed Atlanta's 7-2 win over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of their weekend series.

Justin Upton started a barrage of four 400+ foot homers for the Braves, all nine runs in the contest coming plateward on round-trippers. The victory helped Atlanta keep pace in the NL East and wild-card races, while the A's saw their hold on the AL West slip to just one game ahead of the Angels.

MLB odds for Game 2 of the series have flip-flopped from Friday with Oakland slight 110-120 favorites on the moneyline in the 7:10 PM (ET) matchup of young righthanders. Sonny Gray is the first line of defense for the Athletics opposite Julio Teheran, and scoreboard bettors are faced with a 7 run total in the clash at Pinnacle Sports.

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Both Hurlers Stuck In 3-Game Skids
Though only one of his efforts this month can be called a poor outing, Gray has lost all three as he prepares to face the Braves for the first time in his career. The former Vanderbilt standout entered August off a 5-0 month of July, and the A's had won seven straight games with him on the mound before hitting this bump in the road.

All three of Gray's interleague matchups have gone into Oakland's win column, however, coming against Washington, Miami and San Francisco. Those three contests represent his only starts vs. NL teams to date.

Teheran has also gone down in defeat his last three times out, the most recent two totaling 11 runs allowed in 13.1 innings against the Mariners and Dodgers. His ERA is up over 3.00 for the first time of the year as a result, though it still remains a very stingy 1.88 in 12 starts at Turner Field where he is limiting opposing hitters to a .203 average.

 

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
The duty of calling balls and strikes Saturday night at Turner Field should fall to Alfonso Marquez. Now in his 16th season as a major league umpire, Marquez's lat start to the 2014 season hasn't kept him from putting money into the pockets of bettors riding the low sides of totals (3-9 O/U). He hasn't, however, been a friend to home underdogs (1-5).

What might help the Braves right now is for their fans to actually show up at games and give them a home-field advantage. A Friday evening in the summer -- with pretty nice weather and baseball's top team in town, mind you -- only drew a little more than 30,000 to the park.

I'm going to stick with Oakland for my free pick in Game 2, putting my faith behind Gray to even up the series.

MLB Pick: Athletics -130

Season: 99-104 (-6.10)

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