MLB Picks for Athletics vs. Angels: Pitching Edge with Shoemaker

David Lawrence

Monday, April 20, 2015 11:49 AM GMT

The Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels have had sluggish starts to the season as both teams are under .500 as they meet on Monday. The Angels are a sizable favorite on the MLB betting lines for this one.

The Oakland Athletics can win because…
The Angels are doing almost nothing at the plate. They enter Monday having batted .217 so far this season, which ranks them 26th in the Majors. Their on-base percentage of .280 (24th) isn’t much better. They have had a tough time sorting out how to generate offense as they have only 40 runs.

The A’s have been a disappointment themselves but at least their lineup is clicking. They’ve got a team OBP of .338, which is fourth in the Majors, and they are second in runs scored. If they can get a quality start out of Gravemen, there’s a good chance they’ll be cashing in as a road underdog in this spot on Monday's MLB odds.

 

The Los Angeles Angels can win because…
They’re finally back at home. While both teams have struggled so far, the Angels can at least point to the fact that they’ve only played three home games so far compared to 10 on the road. As for the A’s, they’ve had seven home games and six on the road.

The Angels will be up against Kendall Graveman, who hasn’t looked so hot to start the season. He was rocked by Texas in his first start, giving up eight runs in 3.1 innings of work. While he didn’t give up a run to the Houston Astros in his second outing, he still gave up four hits and four walks in 5.1 innings of work. The Angels should have a significant edge on the mound in this one as Matt Shoemaker has proven to be a quality starter so far. He’s thrown 12.1 innings in two starts, giving up just six earned runs in the process while striking out 12 batters and walking just one. He’s provided two quality starts in two outings; Gravemen has yet to do that.

Both of Shoemaker’s starts have come on the road but last season, he was far more effective at home. He had a 2.10 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP at home compared to a 4.45 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP on the road. He also stymied the A’s in his lone start, giving up just five hits in 7.1 innings of work while allowing no runs and holding them to a .185 batting average.

With the edge in pitching, the Angels are the better choice for your MLB picks.

 

Outlook
Graveman is a young bullpen arm that’s been converted to a starter but so far, that hasn’t worked out so well. The A’s were 1-4 in games that he pitched last season and are 1-1 so far this season.

With the Angels having a clear advantage on the mound, having the advantage of playing at home and the price being fairly reasonable to bet them, take them in this spot.

MLB Pick: Angels -139 at Pinnacle