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Pesky A’s Open as the Favorite in Anaheim

Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics throws to first base against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium

Many have already ordained the Houston Astros as the NL West Champion, however, none of those folks are in the Oakland Athletics’ clubhouse. With 47 games left on their schedule, the A’s are just 4.5 games back of the defending champs and they’ve cemented themselves smack dab into wild-card contention, currently occupying the second wild-card spot, 4.5 games behind the Yankees. Oakland is 35-24 on the road and has won seven of their last 10 games overall.

SHARK BITES
  • The Athletics are 15-6 SU in their last 21 games on the road.
  • The Angels are 7-17 SU in their last 24 games against left-handed starting pitchers.
  • The total has gone OVER in seven of the Athletics' last eight games against the Angels with an average combined score of 11.75.

Athletics vs Angels Matchup Page

Mound Matchup

Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.64 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) has been much better since returning from the DL in early July. Anderson was 0-2 with a 7.63 ERA when he went on the DL May 18. He didn’t pitch again until July 8, with the A’s going 4-1 SU in his five starts since then. In his last five starts, Anderson is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. This will be Anderson’s first start against the Angels since 2012.

Third-year right-hander Felix Pena (1-3, 4.97 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) will make his ninth start of the season for the Halos who have lost five of his last seven starts. The 25-year-old Dominican has not been able to find consistency in the starter’s role. He worked out of the bullpen for the past two seasons with the Cubs and began his first year in Los Angeles as a reliever before joining the rotation in June.

Los zurdos son el diablo (Lefties Are the Devil)

Mike Scioscia’s squad have won just seven of their last 24 games against left-handed starting pitching and the numbers support those results.  LA is 29th in MLB with a .224 team batting average vs lefties. Their .671 OPS is 26th.

Even though he bats from the right side of the plate, Mike Trout has just six of his 30 home runs off left-handers, and maybe more eye-opening, just nine of his 60 RBIs.

Oakland is slashing .250/.321/436 against right-handed pitching in 2018. The A’s are smashing the ball in the second half. They have 27 home runs in 18 games and a team OPS of .803.

High Scoring Games in This Matchup

The total opened at 7.5 for this game but has moved to 8.5 at most sports books at the time of this preview. Part of that may be because the total has hit the OVER in seven of the last eight games between these California rivals with an average combined score of 11.75.

However, it’s been the UNDER cashing in recent Oakland games. 10 of the A’s last 13 games have paid UNDER bettors with an average combined score of 6.85. It’s been an UNDER trend of late for the Angels as well, with five of their last seven games hitting the UNDER at an average combined score of 8.14.

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