Sonny Gray Injury Should Affect Your Oakland 2017 Wins Total Bet

Matthew Jordan

Monday, March 13, 2017 4:19 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 13, 2017 4:19 PM UTC

The Oakland A’s weren’t going to contend for a playoff spot this year regardless, but they could be the worst team in the American League if ace pitcher Sonny Gray can’t recover from an injury setback. The A’s are given a wins total of 73.5 at 5Dimes.

Last week, the Oakland A’s got bad news on ace right-hander Sonny Gray, one of the American League’s best pitchers when healthy. Gray will begin the regular season on the disabled list with a lat strain and won’t even throw a ball for about three weeks. In a best-case scenario, Gray will be able to pitch by late April.

Gray made a Cactus League start last Tuesday and felt a little bit of tightness. He really didn’t think it was anything other than normal wear-and-tear in the spring, but mentioned it to a trainer and an MRI showed the lat strain. The only good news is that it happened now and not during the season. It’s usually about a six-week injury.

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This should be very concerning, however, as Gray had a disastrous 2016 season with two stints on the disabled list. He was 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA. Gray posted a 6.55 ERA in his final 18 starts, including missing time in between for trapezius and forearm issues while scarcely pitching in August and September.  His home run rate doubled from 0.7 per nine to 1.4, and his walk rate rose as well.

In 2015, he 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA and finished third in the AL Cy Young voting. The year before, Gray was 14-10 with a 3.08 ERA. The A’s were hoping for a bounce-back season to perhaps trade Gray and get a huge haul of prospects like the White Sox did with Chris Sale this offseason.

Oakland finished last in the AL West last year at 69-93 and has a wins total of 73.5 on 5Dimes MLB odds. The team did very little in the offseason to get better, adding the likes of outfielders Rajai Davis and Matt Joyce and third baseman Trevor Plouffe. The biggest loss was Danny Valencia, who was one of Oakland's most productive hitters (.287, 17 homers) while spending time at first and third base.

The A’s open the season on April 3 against the division-rival Angels. I’m leaning ‘under’ that Oakland wins total on my MLB picks. Right-hander Kendall Graveman will likely start opening day for the A’s.

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