MLB Picks: Athletics vs. Angels Betting Odds

Jeff Grant

Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:58 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics have gone OVER the total in their first two meetings of the 2013 MLB season, but things may be different in the series finale Thursday night.
Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this American League West matchup, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium.
 
Crushing the baseball
 
Oakland has pounded out 10 or more hits in seven consecutive games, as it has won the first two of its three-game series with Los Angeles, including a 11-5 victory as +119 road underdogs Wednesday night.
 
The Athletics are 7-0 after scoring seven runs or more in three straight games since the start of the 2011 season, while the OVER is 6-1 in that situation.
 
Unable to deliver when it counts
 
Los Angeles was hoping to avoid another dreadful start in April, but the club has been unable to deliver at the plate at crucial times, as they rank last in the majors with a .120 batting average with runners in scoring position.
 
The Angels are 24-33 in April the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 35-20-2 in those 57 opportunities.
 
Griffin continues to thrive
 
A.J. Griffin (1-0, 3.00 ERA) improved to 8-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 16 major league starts after picking up an 8-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners as -162 home favorites last Thursday, while the game went over the betting total of 7.5.
 
The right-hander went 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts on six days’ rest a season ago, while the Athletics have won his last five outings against division rivals.
 
Griffin earned a 4-1 road win in his only career appearance against the Angels on Sept. 12 last season, as he allowed just six hits over eight shutout frames.
[gameodds]3/224510/999996-43-19-92/us[/gameodds]
 
Vargas has enjoyed success at the Big A
 
Jason Vargas (0-0, 1.59 ERA) played his collegiate ball at Long Beach State, but spent the first seven years of his career throwing for the Florida Marlins, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners.  He’ll be making his eighth career appearance at Angel Stadium, but his first as a member of the home team.
 
The left-hander is 5-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 15 career games (13 starts) versus the Athletics, including a 2-1 mark and 2.18 ERA in six outings a year ago—allowing just 26 hits over 41.1 combined innings.
 
Prediction
 
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their MLB picks Thursday, as the UNDER is 16-6-2 in the last 24 meetings in this series when played in Southern California.