Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics Pick 7/24/20

by | Jul 24, 2020 | mlb

Los Angeles Angels (0-0) at Oakland Athletics (0-0)

When: 7:10 p.m., Friday, July 24

Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.

TV: ESPN

Moneyline: LAA +135/OAK -150 (Bookmaker - MASSIVE Limits 50K!)

Runline: Angels +1.5/Athletics -1.5

Total: 8.5

Starting Pitchers: Andrew Heaney (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP) vs. Frankie Montas (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)

Bay Area Behemoths

Last year, beating Oakland at the Coliseum amounted to two words: good luck. Home-field advantage is usually a big thing, but Oakland took that to an extreme last season, going 52-29 at home to become one of only three teams in the American League to top 50 wins at home. The Athletics’ success at home can be attributed to two main factors: the Coliseum remains a dump, which can throw off visiting teams, and the Athletics are a team built around pitching and run prevention. Oakland was one of just four American League teams to hold opponents under 700 runs for the season (the others were Houston, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland). All four teams won at least 93 games, and the Athletics’ team ERA was almost a full run better at home than it was on the road.

Handing the ball to Frankie Montas only makes the situation better for the Athletics. Last year, Montas was outstanding for Oakland, posting a 9-2 mark and a 2.63 ERA for the year. Against Los Angeles, he was even better, winning three of his four starts against the Angels and never allowing more than four hits. The one loss was because his control deserted him, and he finished the game with five walks. As long as he’s finding the strike zone, his presence on the mound gives Oakland a significant edge.

Less Than Heavenly

There’s no other way to say it: the Angels won the offseason. They needed to, given that they wasted another year of Mike Trout by going 72-90. Despite that, Trout won the MVP award, which says a lot about how bad the rest of the Angels were last year.

To fix it, the Angels brought manager Joe Maddon and third baseman Anthony Rendon to Anaheim, clearly winning the offseason in the process. But as usually happens, winning the offseason does not mean winning the actual season. Rendon is injured and will not play in this game, depriving Trout of one of the key bats around him in the lineup.

Beyond that, Maddon is one of the brightest minds in the game. He is not, however, a miracle worker, and nothing short of divine intervention could help the Angels’ pitching staff. The Angels were wretched at run prevention last season, posting a team ERA of 5.12. Amazingly, that wasn’t the worst in the American League (shield your eyes from the Orioles’ 2019 pitching performances), but it was good for last in the AL West. None of the Angels’ starting pitchers made it through the season with an ERA under 4.50, and the team managed just 22 quality starts in 162 games last season.

In short, these Angels couldn’t hit last year, and their pitching was even worse. The hitting should be repaired once Rendon joins the lineup, but will it even matter?

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One-Way Traffic

This matchup wasn’t particularly competitive last season. The Athletics actually rode the Angels into the playoffs last year, winning seven of their final eight meetings against the Halos and taking seven of the teams’ 10 matchups in northern California. With the Angels having little to no improvements in the way of starting pitching, can they reasonably hope to compete with Oakland in their first game back?

Betting Trends

  • The Angels are 7-21 in their past 28 road games.
  • The Angels are 7-19 in their past 26 games against the AL West.
  • The Athletics are 18-8 in their past 26 games.
  • The under has hit in seven consecutive games for the Athletics.
  • The under is 20-5-1 in the Athletics’ past 26 Friday games.
  • The over is 4-0 in the Angels’ past four road games.
  • The Angels have lost nine of their past 12 in Oakland.

Weather Report

With temperatures at 67 degrees on the East Bay, this should be an outstanding night for baseball in northern California.

Dan’s pick

I think this matchup sets up very well for the Athletics, and I also like their chances to hit on a first five innings bet at -105. Oakland is the better team, and the Angels haven’t made enough improvements in the pitching and defense areas to really compete with them. This could be a high-scoring game, and I expect Oakland to come out with a victory that hits the over as well. Where are you betting your baseball picks this season? Does your bookie offer you reduced odds? If not, you should seriously consider dumping him for better pricing! It’ll save you tons of money! Bet on baseball at reduced odds at 5Dimes! You’ll be so glad you made the switch!