Four matinees are part of Wednesday's Major League Baseball betting card, none of them bigger than the series-ender in Oakland between the Athletics and Los Angeles Angels.
The AL West rivals are set for a 3:35 p.m. (ET) start at The Coliseum where Brandon McCarthy takes the mound for the A's opposite Dan Haren of the Angels. Very early MLB odds pegged the Halos as slight favorites (-110). The last three games between the clubs at this park had gone 'over' the total before Game 2 of the set, and Wednesday's target is eight runs.
Oakland streaked into Monday's opener with nine consecutive wins, but saw that string snapped with an 8-3 loss to the Halos who used three long balls to grab a third straight triumph with CJ Wilson on the hill. The A's still lead the season series 7-6, pending Tuesday's results, and remain on top of the American League wild-card race while falling four games back of the Texas Rangers in the division standings.
The Angels were also on a good run before the set started having won nine of their last 12 before Monday's victory. They moved to within 3.5-games of the second wild card opening, and were 8.5 behind Texas heading into Tuesday's contest as $1.25 favorites in a mound duel between Zack Greinke and A's rookie Jarrod Parker.
Haren will be out to square his record on Wednesday after picking up his first win since late-July the last time he climbed the hill. Los Angeles had lost four straight games he started before he limited the Mariners to one unearned run in seven innings at Seattle this past Friday. The 9-1 victory left Haren 9-10 on the season with a 4.58 ERA.
The former Pepperdine star will also be seeking his first victory over the A's since 2010. Haren didn't decision in a 5-3 Angels setback in April when he worked into the seventh and allowed just one run, and suffered the loss in May when surrendering four earnies over six frames of a 5-0 Oakland dubya. Both of those games took place in Anaheim, and the Angels also fell in each of his three starts vs. the A's a year ago.
McCarthy was the beneficiary of Oakland's 20-run explosion last Friday in the first game of an eventual sweep over the reeling Boston Red Sox. The oft-injured right-hander earned his second straight win in the rout after the A's dropped his first three games back from the disabled list.
The 29-year-old has a 1-2 record with an unsightly 7.13 ERA in three starts vs. the Angels since joining the A's in 2011. The victory came at home in Oakland a little more than a year ago, and McCarthy sports a 2.59 ERA in nine starts at The Coliseum this year compared to a 3.66 mark on the road.
Angels slugger Mark Trumbo was expected to get a day off Tuesday but should be back in Mike Scioscia's lineup for Wednesday's game. Oakland recently lost 3B Brandon Inge for the season due to a shoulder injury. Inge is expected to undergo surgery later this week and is being replaced at the hot corner by rookie Josh Donaldson who doubled and homered in Monday's contest.
Weather shouldn't be an issue for the afternoon clash with the upper-70s and mostly clear skies forecast for the Oakland area on Wednesday. Chad Fairfield should be behind the plate calling balls and strikes for the tilt. Now in his sixth full season as an MLB umpire, Fairchild owns a 13-8 'under' mark for the 2012 campaign