By Jack O’Keefe
A low scoring and close game was what we forecasted for Monday night, and that type of ballgame was just what the doctor ordered. Of course, the Athletics had to make things interesting for a close finish, but they ultimately came up short in a 4-3 defeat Monday night against the Diamondbacks. Barring any further setbacks, Frankie Montas will toe the rubber Tuesday night for the Athletics looking to make like a banana and split the series between the Diamondbacks in Arizona (terrible pun). Luke Weaver will get the start for Arizona to counter the A’s ace. What can we expect from Tuesday’s game? Let us take a deep dive to find out.
Money Line: OAK -164, ARI +142
Run Line: OAK -1.5 (-105), ARI +1.5 (-115),
Total: 9.5 (O -105, U -115)
First Pitch: 5:10 CST, Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
Oakland Athletics (16-7)
As quiet as the A’s bats were the first six innings of the ballgame, the men in green and gold woke up in the seventh inning and almost pulled off another comeback win. Robbie Grossman homered in the seventh inning for the A’s, which seemed to be the spark the A’s were looking for to get the offense in motion. Matt Chapman picked up a sac fly in the eighth and Franklin Barreto scored on an error in the eight as well. Unfortunately, Mark Canha flew out to left in the eight, thus ending the rally for the A’s. The catalyst, Robbie Grossman, led off the ninth with a single, but the A’s were held in check for the remainder of the half inning. Joakim Soria has been lights out this season, but he unfortunately picked up the loss in this game, after being pulled from the ninth and responsible for that run. Soria’s ERA now on the season is 0.84. By no means should A’s fans feel annoyed/upset with Soria, he has been solid for them all season so far. As crappy as it feels losing after comeback to rally late in a game, here is a bit of optimistic news for Oakland… Ramon Laureano is back! After serving out his four-game suspension, we can expect to see Laureano in centerfield for today’s game. Frankie Montas gets the ball for the A’s in Tuesday’s match. Montas comes into the game with a 2-1 record and 1.57 ERA. He faced the Diamondbacks two years ago, going six innings and he allowed one run. We can probably assume though that Montas will go for about six or seven innings and limit the Diamondbacks to three or four runs. God willing the A’s have at least three or four runs themselves, we can then anticipate a painless eighth and ninth inning. It would be nice if they can string some runs together in the earlier stages of the game, as much as I do love the late inning rallies.
Arizona Diamondbacks (12-11)
Zac Gallen brought his good stuff to the mound Monday night for the Diamondbacks. Unfortunately, it took an Arizona walk-off to get the win Monday night, so Gallen did not get the ever-deserving win. Gallen went seven strong innings, and he held the A’s to just three hits, one run and struck out eight batters. His ERA on the season now sits at a very respectable 2.40. Hector Rondon came in relief after Gallen in the eight. The A’s were buzzing that inning rallying to come all the way back from a 0-3 deficit to ending the inning knotted up at three. David Peralta was clutch picking up the walk-off base hit for the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the ninth, but he also had a solo shot in the third to get the Diamondbacks on the board early. Stefan Crichton, who has been quietly having a nice year for the Diamondbacks, pitched a clean inning in the ninth, which ultimately led to him picking up his second win this season. Crichton has been one of the more dependable arms for Diamondback manager Torey Lovullo. He came in the game with after a Robbie Grossman single to start the ninth. He immediately got the groundball he was looking for with Stephen Piscotty at the dish and then a line out off the bat of Vimael Machin to end the inning. That is working efficiently under tight pressure, especially with a team like Oakland who savors late inning rally type of games. Nick Ahmed let the bottom of the ninth off with a double, giving the Diamondbacks the winning run in scoring position right out of the gate. Kole Calhoun struck out and Ketel Marte picked up a single to follow. The A’s worked around Starling Marte to load the bases with one out. After falling behind 0-2, Peralta dumped a bloop hit into right field, allowing the winning run to cross the plate. It ain’t pretty, but another win in the standings is just what the Diamondbacks love to see. The Diamondbacks will turn to the former St. Louis Cardinal, Luke Weaver, to see if he can get the win streak up to six games. Sorry Diamondback fans, I am not going to sugarcoat it, Weaver has been terrible this season. He has yet to work past the fourth inning, and he is 0-3 with an 11.85 ERA. Weaver allowed 4 runs on 3.1 innings pitched last outing against the Rockies.
Analysis and Prediction:
I think this game will be a good opportunity for the A’s to rebound after last night’s walk-off. After all, the A’s are not used to being on the other end of the stick when it comes to walk-offs. I hope that this will light a little fire under them, along with having Montas back on the mound and Laureano in the lineup. I am thinking the A’s will get out to a comfortable lead in this one and never look back once they get the lead. For today’s game, I am going to back the A’s ML (-164).
Jack’s 2020 MLB picks: (10-4; all picks are one unit) A $100 bettor has a profit of $396.
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