Struggling A's Still Better Bet than Mets Tonight in Oakland

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 2:09 PM GMT

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 2:09 PM GMT

Will playing at home help Oakland right the ship or do baseball bettors continue to use them for sports picks as 'play against' material? Find out the best bet for tonight's game versus road Mets.

August can be a hard month for MLB picks unless you are willing to take risks. Who didn’t think Oakland was going to run away with AL West! Instead, they have been caught by the L.A.A. Angels.

The A’s are flunking presently, having lost five in a row and seven of eight, losing -7.3 units against the MLB betting odds and stumbling worse than they have all season.

 

Oakland’s Hitting Woes
Billy Beane decided he needed effective starting pitching if his club was going to take a real shot at the World Series. Though Yoenis Cespedes has not done anything in a Boston uniform, something is array with A’s hitters, contributing to 7-10 record his month.

Granted, Oakland still leads the majors in runs scored at 4.8 per contest, they have been averaging a paltry 2.0 RPG in their last seven setbacks. To a certain degree, those working the MLB odds understand slumps are part of the game, but so is timing and suddenly, the Green and Gold do not look as bullet-proof like they have most of the year.

With the Angels in town this upcoming weekend, the Athletics need to get their house in order these next two games.

 

New York Hardly Playing Well
With Monday’s loss to the Cubs, the Mets travel west off a disappointing 2-5 homestand, and are just three games ahead of Philadelphia in the race for the cellar in the NL East. All season the New York offense has been among the worst in the big leagues and barring unforeseen circumstances, this is not likely to change.

The Mets lack of offense and mediocre bullpen work (see below) have strongly contributed to manager Terry Collins club failing yet again, setting up potential change in the off-season.

 

Tuesday’s Starting Pitchers
After spending nearly two months out of the rotation due to injury, Dillon Gee (4-5, 3.69 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) has seen his pre-injury ERA jump from to 2.73 to 3.75 over his past seven starts. Baseball handicappers are keenly aware of Gee’s problems, being unable to spot his pitches where he wants, surrendering eight home runs since coming off the DL and walking 12 batters in 30+ innings since July 24.

Scott Kazmir (13-5, 2.78, 1.11) will go for Oakland and his season as mirrored the Athletics. After being dominant most of the year, this month he is 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA, with opposing hitters clobbering him with a .297 batting average. Like his teammates, Kazmir needs a strong game against a team that scores more against left-hand starters than right-handed hurlers (4.2 vs. 3.7 runs per outing).

 

How the Bullpens Stack Up
New York’s bullpen has been steadily improving and its ERA is up to ninth in baseball at 3.20, yet is below average in other categories like on-base and slugging percentages allowed. There is a real simple reason why this is the case, especially when compared to the A’s relievers.

Though the Mets bullpen has thrown just two innings than Oakland’s, they have handed 59 more free passes, which is a differential of greater than 50 percent. In addition, New York pensters have been tagged for 10 more home runs, all which have contributed to each team’s failures or success.

 

Head to Head Matchup and Betting Lines
These teams spilt a pair of interleague games back in late June in the Big Apple and will face off twice again in the Bay Area. New York roughed up Kazmir for seven runs in only three innings, winning 10-1 earlier.

Sportsbooks made the A’s -200 money line favorites with the total at Un7 and initially there was little movement. Oakland is 19-5 at home in interleague action the past few years, while the Metropolitans are 21-10 versus an AL team with a team batting average of .255 or worse since 2012.

 

The Winner Is……..
Though it is very tempting to ponder New York as a large underdog, they are playing nearly as badly as Oakland. But with a day off to regroup mentally and playing at home where they are a baseball best 40-21, I’ll side with the A’s to answer the bell.

Free MLB Pick: Oakland wins & bet on it at Pinnacle Sports

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