This evening's top MLB pick is a run-line crusher for Padres vs. Athletics, a matchup of two teams headed opposite directions with the help of 2 situations that are each 82% this season.
San Diego Padres (Despaigne) vs. Oakland A's (Chavez) (-1 1/2 R/+120) 10:05 ET
After blowing a 5-3 lead in the 8th inning, Oakland rebounded for a 6-5 victory. Combined with a 9-1 win on Monday, Oakland returns to the Bay Area with continuing home momentum. Such cannot be said for the San Diego Padres, whose offense remains in a funk and who are bit confused with their 3rd different manager in 3 nights in the dugout. Combined with the underrated form of today's starter and an outstanding record of interleague play on this field, we back an Oakland team who has recorded comfortable margins of victory in their wins.
San Diego takes the field with new manager, Pat Murphy, in the dugout. This 30-year veteran of baseball wars most recently coached the Padres' Triple A affiliate in El Paso. He looks to bring stability to a dugout of team that has greatly underperformed their potential, a perennially losing team who had underperformed expectations. At the start of this week's play, San Diego had a .674 batting OPS, No. 27 in MLB with a .754 pitching OPS, No. 29 in MLB. Those bottom of the barrel of the numbers signal a decline for the fortunes of this team. That has already begun. In their most recent 10 games, the Padres are 3-7. In that 10-game timeframe, they have scored just 30 runs with a .181 BA with RISP. Tonight's starter, Despaigne, has struggled with poor support all season, as they Padres have backed him with 0 runs in 6 of his 7 most recent outings.
At the other end of the spectrum is an underachieving Oakland team who at last has begun to make their move. Oakland had more victories than any other MLB team (278) in the previous 3 seasons. Though another 90-win season was not projected, they were certainly expected to be better than their 14-30 start. That culminated with a 2-14 slide. Since that time the A's have gone 14-9, including 5-2 recently in which they have averaged 5.6 RPG. Based on my OPS rankings, that was expected. Entering the week's action, Oakland had an average batting OPS of .706. But, their pitching was No. 5 in MLB with a .662 OPS. Tonight's starter, Chavez, has seen Oakland win just 2 of his 10 starts, despite his 2.91 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. That is because he has received just 1.76 run support, the lowest in MLB. That's the type of statistic that is due for an adjustment. Particularly now that Oakland has begun hitting the ball in the past week.
Players of the MLB odds run line take note that when Oakland wins, they win BIG! 23 of 28 (82%) wins have come by 2 or more runs. Must feel very comfortable making this play, considering that in interleague action, Oakland is an outstanding 31-10 on this field.
MLB Picks: Take Oakland A's -1 1/2 R/+120 at Pinnacle