Date/Time: July 27, 3:05 p.m. EST
Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles (Richards) vs. Oakland (Milone)
MLB Gambling Odds from BetDSI
Moneyline: Athletics (-130) Angels (+120)
The Los Angeles Angels were supposed to be contending for a World Series this year. Instead, they can’t get back to .500. Oakland is the surprising team atop the AL West for a second straight season. The Angels and Athletics will start at just past noon local time in this Saturday afternoon matchup. Let’s take a closer look at this contest.
How have things gone so wrong in Anaheim this season? It seemed like such a sure thing that the Angels would at least be in the playoffs this year. While there is a lot of time left, it looks nearly impossible that the Angels would get into the postseason. Last year’s team started slowly, but they came on strong late in the year. This year’s team hasn’t even been able to put forth that strong push. The pitching staff has been one of the worst in baseball, and the Angels defense has committed 73 errors already this year.
Garrett Richards has just four starts this year, but with the team’s lack of starting pitching depth he is getting another shot at a starting spot. The offense hasn’t been bad, but even they have been slightly disappointing. A lineup with Trout, Pujols, and Hamilton would be expected one of the best offenses in baseball. The Angels are eighth in runs scored this year. Josh Hamilton is hitting just .223 and Albert Pujols is at a subpar .259. Mike Trout continues to put up big numbers at the top of this lineup.
Oakland started the season hitting the ball better than ever, but over the course of the year it has once again been their pitching staff that has led them to most of their victories. After a bit of a slow start, Oakland’s pitching staff now has the fifth best ERA in baseball. They are number one in baseball with a WHIP of just 1.18. It’s very tough to get runners on against this pitching staff. It isn’t just the starting rotation. The bullpen has been terrific as well. Grant Balfour has 26 saves and only one blown save in 2013. Ryan Cook and Pat Neshek have turned into very reliable setup guys.
Tom Milone has pitched much better at home, so he’ll be glad to be in front of the home crowd for this matchup. Milone is 4-3 with a 3.20 ERA at home this year. Offensively, Josh Donaldson has provided a major boost for the Oakland lineup this year. Donaldson has been the team’s most consistent hitter all year. He is batting .304 and he has 61 RBI’s already this year. Oakland has been amazing at coming through with big hits with runners in scoring position this season. It seems the Athletics have figured out the perfect formula to get by without a bunch of offensive stars. This is a gritty bunch.
MLB Free Pick: Athletics ML
Oakland is 50-22 in their last 72 home starts, and Milone is very tough to beat at home. I like the home team here.