MLB Picks: Oakland -147 vs. Orioles

Joe Catalano

Saturday, June 7, 2014 2:09 PM GMT

Sonny Gray and the dominant Oakland Athletics (38-23), who have won 7 out of their last 10 games, take on Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis ,and the Baltimore Orioles (30-29) at Camden Yards in what should be a interesting matchup.

First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. ET tonight at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. This game can be seen on MLB TV.

With Sonny Gray (6-1, 2.45) pitching in what appears to be a lopsided pitching matchup, odds makers have listed the Athletics as a -147 favorite and the total for the game is 8.5 runs.

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Winning is Contagious
Yes, the A’s have a respectable offense with the likes of Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss, but I look at the A’s like I do at the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves. No matter who they put out on the field, these teams just know how to win ball games and the confidence is contagious.

Oakland has the 2nd best record in the majors and are 5 ½ games ahead of the 2nd place Los Angeles Angels in the American League West Division. One statistic that really stands out is the A’s Major League leading +121 run differential. The next team in line is San Francisco at +62; that shows you just how dominant that the Athletics are.

Tonight, the A’s and their best pitcher face Kevin Gausman, who has only made one appearance this season, and it was somewhat of a rocky one as Gausman allowed 5 runs on 6 hits in 4 innings in a loss to the Detroit Tigers.

For his career, Gausman is 3-6 with a 6.10 ERA. Although it’s a short sampling, the numbers don’t lie and Oakland is at a major advantage if Sonny Gray pitches the way that he’s been pitching all season long.

 

The New “Bash Brothers”?
They’re not .300 hitters, but both Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson are intimidating to the opposing pitchers in the league as they have a collective 32 home runs and 99 runs batted in. Both players pick up timely hits and part of the reason why the A’s run differential is so great in their favor is the power that they possess.

You add in Yoenis Cespedes, who is capable of having a multiple home run game at any time, and this is a very effective team. Oakland ranks 2nd in the league in runs and 1st in on-base percentage. They’re only 15th in batting average, but they’re such an intimidating offense that they draw a lot of walks. Oakland should have no problem with Kevin Gausman on the road. This is a team that’s 21-11 on the road.

 

Time To Get Cooking
The Orioles who are 30-29 and in the thick of things in a rather weak American League East Division, are just 11-13 at home, but have also played just 24 games at Camden Yards as opposed to 35 games on the road.

Players that sleep in their own beds and are with their families at home, are likely to play better. It’s a common theme that a team plays better at home in front of their supportive crowd.

 

PED Poster Boy
It doesn’t appear to matter that Nelson Cruz took steroids and will never make the Baseball Hall of Fame because people are only concerned about the production that he’s providing right now.

As for that, it’s “off the chart” as Cruz is dominating the majors with 21 HR, 55 RBI, and a .308 BA. Sonny Gray is an above average pitcher, but Nelson Cruz can change the complexion of a game with one swing of the bat.

Along with Cruz, the O’s have last year’s home runs king in Chris Davis (9 HR and 28 RBI) and Adam Jones (8 HR, 36 RBI, .297 BA) to solidify their lineup.

 

Outcome
You have to lean towards the superior team in the Athletics with a very lopsided pitching matchup. Look for another Oakland victory on the road.

MLB Pick: Oakland -147 at 5 Dimes