Philadelphia Phillies (42-36) +110, 8 1/2 at Oakland A’s (42-34), 10 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
One team trying to inch a little closer to first place in its division meets another trying to hang on to the lead in its own race when the Oakland A’s host the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle game of a three-game inter-league series Wednesday night at McAfee Coliseum.
Hardball bookmakers are listing Oakland and starting pitcher Greg Smith (4-5, 3.51) as -120 home chalk for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 8 1/2, while Philly and Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06) are getting +110 as road underdogs.
The A’s took the opener of this series Tuesday night 5-2 for their seventh win in their last 10 games, handing Philadelphia its sixth straight loss in the process. In fact, that powerful Phillies line-up has pushed across just 11 runs total during its losing streak.
So going into Wednesday’s action, Philly’s lead in the NL East is down to a single game over the second-place Florida Marlins, while Oakland trails the Los Angeles Angels by five games in the AL West.
The Phillies are 20-18 on the road this season, 11-10 as underdogs, and 35-43 vs. the run line.
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Oakland is 25-18 at home this year, 24-14 as favorites, and 42-34 vs. the run line.
Prior to this series, these two teams hadn’t met since 2005.
Over his last three starts, including a minor bombing vs. the Boston Red Sox last Wednesday, Kendrick has allowed nine ER and 26 baserunners in 13 1/3 IP. But because of great run support, Philly is 11-4 in Kendrick’s starts this year, the totals 10-5.
Over his last three starts, including a solid outing vs. Arizona last Thursday, Smith has given up six ER and 25 baserunners in 16 1/3 IP. Oakland is 8-6 in Smith’s starts this year, the totals 3-9.
Neither of Wednesday’s starting pitchers has started a regular-season game vs. Wednesday’s opponents in their careers.
Philadelphia ranks 19th in the majors this year in team batting at .258, 8th in team OBP at .338, 5th in team slugging at .440, and is averaging 5.1 runs per game.
Oakland ranks 25th in batting at .253, 13th in OBP at .330, 27th in slugging at .381, and is averaging 4.6 RPG.
The Philadelphia bullpen has allowed five ER and 25 baserunners over its last five games, covering 14 2/3 IP.
The Oakland bullpen has given up 11 ER and 24 baserunners over its last five games, covering 14 1/3 IP.
The totals are 35-42 in Philllies games this season, 30-39 in A’s games, and 19-21 in games played at McAfee Coliseum, which are averaging 7.8 total runs this year.
Zman’s Pick: The Phillies flat out aren’t getting it done. The A’s are at a nice price tonight. We’re on the A’s at -120.