MLB Picks: Athletics' Sonny Gray Brings Great Value Against Angels

Ian Cameron

Monday, April 11, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 11, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Check this profitable MLB betting preview of tonight's AL West matchup between the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics, where we will analyze the MLB Odds to offer you a winner for tonight.


MLB Record: 1-2 (33%)

The Oakland Athletics had a tremendous weekend as they notched an impressive 3 game sweep against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field as A’s pitching held the Mariners to just 4 runs in 3 games combined. Oakland will have their ace on the mound tonight as Sonny Gray will face what is a very light hitting LA Angels lineup which has been held to 3 runs or less in 5 of their first 6 games of the season.

Kole Calhoun is batting .333 and is 6-for-18 on the season but aside from him, the two biggest Angels bats Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have gotten out of the gate slowly as Trout is just hitting 6-for-20 for a .200 average and Pujols is batting .125 and just 6-for-24 at the plate so far as it appears to be another very slow start for the veteran Pujols at the plate just like last year and the rest of the lineup doesn't have enough quality bats to make up for any struggles at the plate from the Angels top three sluggers. The bottom line is that I do not trust this weak Angels lineup to hit above average pitching and Sonny Gray certainly fits that bill as an above average Major League starting pitcher.

On the flip side, the LA Angels will send Nick Tropeano to the hill tonight for his first start of the season taking the spot of injured lefty Andrew Heaney in the rotation. Tropeano fared well against Oakland last season but I believe that current form trumps past history when it comes to analyzing pitchers in baseball.

There is a reason Tropeano didn’t make the Angels coming out of spring training. He didn’t pitch well during the exhibition season allowing 12 runs and 19 hits as well as 5 home runs over 16.2 innings of work during the spring. His spring numbers are a major red flag for me as he makes this emergency start tonight against Oakland. The LA Angels starting rotation is lacking depth as it is and the fact Tropeano did not perform well enough in the spring to make the rotation clearly shows he is not someone the organization quite trusts to be a Major League level pitcher and thus, we may see him struggle to shut down the Athletics lineup here tonight.

Oakland is not a potent lineup by any stretch but they managed to scratch out runs when they needed to on the weekend against Seattle and I think the Athletics can have some success tonight against Tropeano who enters this start with question marks surrounding him for the Angels. It’s worth noting that Sonny Gray has a sparkling 8-1 record with a 1.95 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 11 career April starts as he’s often been a fast starter throughout his career early in the season and Gray has a very sharp 2.99 ERA in 40 career starts here in Oakland.

Oakland opened as high as a -180 favorite on the MLB Odds for this game, but money on the LA Angels has pushed the Athletics down to as low as a -137 favorite which is a price you can find at Heritage Sports. I will lean toward laying the moderate chalk as the MLB Pick for the game, with the Oakland Athletics and look for them to continue the momentum they gained from their sweep in Seattle over the weekend.

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MLB Pick:  Athletics -139
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

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