Less-Than-Stellar Pitching Matchup Leads to 'Over' Call in Angels-A's

ricky nolasco

Jay Pryce

Monday, April 3, 2017 1:12 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 3, 2017 1:12 PM GMT

AL West rivals the Angels and A's clash at the Coliseum for opening night Monday. Oakland must get off to a hot start with 23 of its first 26 games against division foes. Pick and preview here.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are a tough team to figure out in 2017. Manager Mike Scioscia is coming off his worst season as skipper of the Angels, but pitching injuries marred the club throughout. Oddsmakers are offering an over-under of 80.5 wins, which implies they can’t be ignored for a wild-card bid . They have the best player in MLB in Mike Trout, but roll out a questionable starting rotation with Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs and Jesse Chavez comprising the core group.

Getting the honors on opening day is Ricky “Fiasco” Nolasco; his first opening day in an Angels uniform and fourth all-time. Nolasco, who joined the Halos midway through last season, put up some decent numbers in spring training with a 3.52 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over 15 innings. His history on opening day is abysmal, however. Going 1-2, the 11-year pro has gifted 12 earned runs in 14 innings pitched.

Nolasco is 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 0.958 WHIP in seven career starts against Oakland. Anaheim lost three of his four starts against its AL West rivals last season, including a 3-2 defeat in Nolasco’s lone outing at the Coliseum.

The Angels have topped the season series for three straight years, going 12-7 overall in 2016. They has won six of the last seven April meetings.

 

Oakland Athletics

Oakland isn’t expected to do much with the sixth-lowest win total in the betting market at 74.5 games. The number is a move in the right direction, though. The small-market club won 69 and 68 games, respectively, in each of the last two seasons. It’s the fewest wins in a two-year period since the 1970s. Gone are Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp and Rich Hill. The team has a strong reliever corps, but is young and inexperienced in the rotation.

With ace Sonny Gray on the shelf to begin the season, skipper Bob Melvin turns to youngster Kendall Graveman for opening night. The 26-year-old right-hander went 10-11 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 2016. Oakland is 3-3 in his six career starts against the Angels.

The A's were dead last with a .304 on-base percentage last season. It was a point of emphasis this spring for Melvin. The team finished with a .360 mark in March. If the lineup bats patiently against Nolasco, the A's will be in for a big night. Still, Graveman has been shelled in each of his first two starts to begin a new season, giving up 9 earned runs in 8.2 innings overall. Look for at least one, if not both starters to exit early.

Free MLB Pick: 'Over' 8Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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