MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics +115 over Los Angeles Angels

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Tom Milone followed up on his breakthrough 2012 season for the Athletics with a fine outing in his 2013 debut, while Joe Blanton had a rough return to the American League for the Angels.

The underdogs look to have the pitching edge on Wednesday night when Tom Milone and the Oakland Athletics (6-2, 4-0 away) pay a visit to Joe Blanton and the Los Angeles Angels (2-5, 0-1 home) at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 10:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Oakland as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +115.

The Athletics were the surprising winners of the American League West last season thanks to a great second half, and apparently the A’s are anxious to prove 2012 was not a fluke with their great start this season as they have won six straight games since starting the year 0-2 and they are a perfect 4-0 on the road.

The most recent Oakland triumph ruined the Angels home opener here last night as the Athletics prevailed 9-5, first blowing a 4-0 lead they build vs. C.J. Wilson and then retaking command with a five-run seventh inning. Leadoff batter Coco Crisp hit his fourth home run of the young season, helping the offense overcome a shaky performance from starting pitcher Jarrod Parker.

Tonight the A’s turn to Milone, who had a breakthrough season a year ago while winning 13 games and then allowing one run in six innings vs. the Detroit Tigers in the playoffs. Just like his Oakland teammates, Milone is seems ready to prove that 2012 was not a fluke for him personally as he was sharp in his first start this season, getting the win while limiting the Seattle Mariners to two runs on four hits plus one walk in seven innings last Wednesday.

Milone had a great ratio of 137 strikeouts vs. 36 walks last season, a pattern that continued with a four-to-one ratio in his initial 2013 outing, and if you like consistency, consider that Milone had an ERA in the 3.00s during every single calendar month in 2012. He allowed two runs in five innings of a 4-2 win in his only start here in Anaheim.

The Angels are off to a slow start as Josh Hamilton is only 4-for-29 without a home run for his new team, Albert Pujols is off to another slow start at 5-for-22, although at least two of the hits were homers, and ace starter Jered Weaver is now out four to six weeks with a fractured left (non-throwing) elbow.

They are hoping for a better outing from Joe Blanton tonight, who in his return to the American League was roughed up for five runs on seven hits including three home runs by the Cincinnati Reds in an interleague game last Thursday.

Blanton began his Major League career with the A’s in 2004 and he had been in the National League since Oakland traded him to Philadelphia in the middle of the 2008 season. This year’s Oakland team is so young however that most of the players were not Blanton’s teammates while he was there, so he does not have the usual advantage pitchers have when facing their former team as he is not as familiar with the Oakland lineup as you would expect.

With the Angels’ stars not hitting and the Athletics riding a winning streak, which became a familiar theme over the second half of last year, let up back Milone as an underdog on Wednesday.

[gameodds]3/224468/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Athletics +115