In today’s only inter-conference matchup, the Oakland Athletics will finish up their series against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants will be looking to complete a sweep against their local opponent while the Athletics will hope to stay within striking distance of the AL West lead. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make an Athletics-Giants prediction and pick.
Let’s see how the Vegas bookmakers have set the lines for today’s game.
MLB Odds: Athletics-Giants Odds
Oakland Athletics ML (+129)
San Francisco Giants ML (-139)
Over 8 1/2 (-105)
Under 8 1/2 (-115)
Why The Athletics Could Cover The Spread
Despite their recent struggles, the Athletics are still a dangerous squad. The lineup is far better away from their home field, averaging more runs and hits when on the road. The A’s aren’t too far from home, but these stats will still count. To make matters better for the Oakland hitters, they face an extremely inexperienced pitcher.
The Giants will turn to Sammy Long for the start today. While Long has been impressive so far, he is still an extremely inexperienced starter. The 25 year old has only made three appearances in his career, with only one of those appearances being a start.
It’s certainly possible that the Athletics get to Long in the early innings before the strong Giants bullpen can get involved. The Giants allow more runs at home than on the road, providing another reason for hope.
Why The Giants Could Cover The Spread
The Giants have been one of the most surprising teams in the MLB this year, as no one expected them to lead the NL West at any point in the season. But San Francisco continues to cling onto a 4.5 game lead in the division, a lead they have largely achieved due to a strong team effort.
While starter Sammy Long is hugely inexperienced, he’s pitched well in his limited appearances. In his lone start against the Philadelphia Phillies, he allowed two runs over six innings and earned his first win.
The Athletics also hit right-handed pitching worse than left-handed pitching, sporting a lower batting average, OBP, and OPS. Oakland has been prone to streakiness offensively, so there’s reason to believe that a solid outing from Long is in the cards.
Even if Long is only able to go five innings, the San Francisco bullpen has been fantastic. They should be able to pick up any slack and keep the Giants within striking distance against a team whose starter is less than stellar.
Oakland will entrust the start to pitcher Cole Irvin. Irvin has struggled over his last seven outings, pitching to the tune of a 5.17 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. He seldom goes past the fifth or sixth inning, and expect a shorter outing from him. The San Francisco lineup is one of the toughest to get through in the league, ranking fifth in the MLB in walks drawn and sporting the tenth-best batting average in baseball. It’s unlikely Irvin will be likely to pitch past the fifth against this lineup, meaning the Oakland bullpen will have to pitch significant innings.
Oakland’s relief corps has been solid this season, but they were forced to deploy five relievers yesterday. Asking them to handle four innings against the Giants may be too big of an ask. They’ll likely be forced to put their less talented arms in the game because of the workload, giving San Francisco a clear advantage.
Final Athletics-Giants Prediction & Pick
The bookmakers have given decent odds to pick an Oakland upset here, but it isn’t likely. Expect a solid outing from Long, and it’s hard to say the same for Irvin. The Giants should be able to pull out a victory in a game that will likely turn into a low-scoring affair.
FINAL PICK: San Francisco Giants ML (-139)