Oakland Trends Suggest 'Over' is the Pick for Angels vs. A's

Willie Bee

Saturday, August 23, 2014 3:49 PM GMT

First place in the AL West will be on the line Saturday night in Oakland where the Athletics and Angels continue their MLB odds set with a matchup of lefthanders.

Finding themselves on the short side of the scoreboard twice Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels, the Oakland Athletics never panicked and rallied each time behind Coco Crisp's bat and a gutty performance on the mound from Sonny Gray.

Oakland's 5-3 victory tightened up the AL West where the Angels now hold just a 1-game lead over the A's. Not only is that advantage on the line when the squads continue their weekend battle Saturday (9:05 PM ET), but so is the top spot in the American League standings along with the home-field perks throughout the playoffs that go with it.

The first of nine games left between the two rivals features an all-southpaw mound duel between LA's CJ Wilson and Oakland's Jon Lester. SBR's live MLB odds show near-unanimous agreement on the A's at -165 along with a 7 run total.

 

Wilson Has Done Well In Oakland Over The Years
Wilson battled control issues Monday in Boston where he walked five in 5.1 innings, but the Red Sox never could come up with a timely hit to make him pay and left eight runners stranded while the Loyola Marymount alum was on the hill. The eventual 4-2 victory was Wilson's second in a row, and LA's fourth in his last six assignments.

He has a lot of experience against the A's having pitched in the AL West his entire career, but this will the first time Wilson has seen them in 2014. Since joining the Angels in 2012, he's enjoyed a lot of success at the Coliseum winning five of his six starts with a sparkling 2.58 ERA (38.1 IP).

Lester's fast start in an Oakland uniform was slowed last Sunday in Atlanta where the Braves finished off a broom job of the A's, 4-3.  His lifetime experience against the Angels includes a couple of scoreless starts in the 2008 ALDS, Lester 7-2 overall in 10 starts with a 3.44 ERA (62.2 IP).

 

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
An injury caused Chad Fairchild to miss most of the first three months, and Saturday will be just his 12th plate assignment of the 2014 season.  The Sandusky, OH native is 5-6 (O/U) entering the matchup, three of his last four games behind the mask going past the scoreboard barriers.  Home chalk is 6-2, and his Fairchild's one appearance in Oakland was an A's victory as -140 favorites that never made it to a 7.5 run mark.

Both pitchers have done well against their respective opponents, but then, both lineups have been successful against left-handed starters this campaign. The Angels are 21-16 against port-side arms, while the A's check in at 21-15.

The deciding factor for my free MLB pick is the trend for these matchups in Oakland going past the total. Let's play the 'over' in Game 2.

My Free MLB Pick: Angels-Athletics Over 7 at BetOnline Sportsbook

Season: 103-110 (-8.05)

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