September 18, 2020

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Oakland Athletics vs Colorado Rockies: Preview & Best Bet – 9/15/20

By: Jack O’Keefe

Dang, the Marlins did their part scoring runs yesterday, but the Phillies were unable to get things going offensively. The Marlins defeated the Phillies by a score of 6-2, just missing the over! Back to the A’s though for today’s contest in the Rocky Mountains. The A’s are coming off a quick twin bill split against the Mariners, and they will look to keep the offense rolling into Denver. Sean Manaea gets the ball for the A’s today and Antonio Senzatela will get the nod for the Rockies. What can we expect from this ballgame in the mile high city? Read below to find out!

Money Line: OAK -166, COL +143

Run Line: OAK -1.5 (-115), COL +1.5 (-105)

Total: 11.5 (O -115, U -105)

First Pitch: 7:40 PM CST, Coors Field, Denver, CO

Colorado Rockies (21-25)

The Rockies come into this contest in dire need of a win. The Rockies have one win in their last six contests, and they are finding themselves quickly spiraling out of the postseason picture. Charlie Blackmon has been the most consistent hitter in the Rockies lineup this season. He holds a .333 batting average on the season, along with 6 homeruns and 37 RBIs. Trevor Story is also having another solid year for the Rockies, with a batting average just a tick below .300 (.298). He also has belted 10 homeruns and 24 RBIs at the plate. The power numbers from Nolan Arenado are there, 8 homeruns and 25 RBIs, but Arenado is not hitting the ball as consistently as he would like this season. His batting average of .261 would be the lowest batting average for the third baseman since his rookie season in 2013. Raimel Tapia has been a good spark plug for the Rockies at the top of the lineup, as he has put together a nice season at the dish (.302 batting average). That is about it though for the Rockies bats, the rest of the lineup has not made much noise. As is the case in most seasons in Colorado, pitching has been a concern for the Rockies. The Rockies are near the bottom tier of every pitching category this season, and they have a team ERA of 5.50. Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Freeland, one of the two the A’s will see this week, have been the most consistent starting pitchers for Colorado this season. The Rockies have sort of utilized a closer by committee type of role this season, but Daniel Bard has the most saves (6) along with three compiled by Jairo Diaz. Antonio Senzatela gets the start today, and he will look to bounce back after his rough start against the Padres last Wednesday. Senzatela went five innings, allowed six hits, four earned runs and picked up two strikeouts in a loss to the Padres. The Rockies have only won in a lone start behind Senzatela in his last six outings. An encouraging sign though for Senzatela is that he has surprisingly pitched better at home than on the road this season (2.84 ERA at home and 4.15 ERA on the road). Senzatela did face this A’s team earlier in the season as well, a game in which the Rockies won in Oakland.

Oakland Athletics (30-18)

The A’s split the double-header Monday with Seattle, but they still find themselves in a comfortable 6.5 game lead over second-place Houston in the AL West. With only 12 games remaining on the schedule, the A’s are close to clinching the division title and securing their third straight postseason appearance. Game 1 yesterday was a game that the A’s probably should have won. They jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning, but then allowed the Mariners to score 6 straight runs in the following three innings. Marcus Semien started the scoring in the second with an RBI single. Sean Murphy and Marcus Semien homered in the fourth inning, which extended the lead to five runs. The Mariners picked up a run in the fourth, three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth. Jesus Luzardo was cruising for the first few innings, but he was knocked out of the game in the fifth inning. His official line yesterday was 4.2 innings, seven hits, four earned runs and seven strikeouts. Yusmeiro Petit bailed out Luzardo to end the fifth with the A’s still leading 5-4. Joakim Soria, probably the one arm I question in the pen now, came out for the sixth inning and he was unable to get out of the inning without giving up the lead. September has not been kind to Soria, as he now has given up 4 runs on 3.2 innings pitched this month. Game 2 was a much different story. The A’s jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. The A’s scored five runs in the third inning and three in the sixth, more than enough for Mike Minor to pick up his first victory as an Athletic. Minor was dealing last night. He pitched the whole game (seven innings), allowed just two hits, no earned runs and punched out eight batters on the night. Newly acquired third baseman, Jake Lamb, also picked up his first hit and his first homerun as an Athletic. Lamb will have big shoes to fill at the hot corner for Matt Chapman, but he was in 2017 when he hit 30 homeruns and 105 RBIs. Maybe a change of scenery is all he needs to have a fresh start to the 2020 season. Manaea gets the ball for the A’s on Tuesday, where he looks to continue his success on the mound. In his last outing, Manaea went seven innings, allowed two hits, one earned run and struck out 10 batters in a win over the Astros. The A’s have won in five straight ballgames with Manaea on the mound this season, and he has a sizzling 1.65 ERA during that span. Manaea has struggled away from the Coliseum this year, with a 5.29 ERA on the season to show while pitching on the road.  

Analysis and Prediction:

On paper, it looks like the run total should be lower than it actually appears. I did some discussing with fellow Lynq Writer, Trent Pruitt, and we both came to the consensus that really anything on the board seems to be a tossup. Coors Field is a hard ballpark to make predictions at it seems. Per Pruitt, the Rockies have a wOBA of .337 against left-handed pitching this season, which is 10th best in baseball. The A’s have a wOBA of .320 against right-handed pitching this season, which is 16th best in baseball. As great as Manaea has been this season pitching, I worry about him having success at Coors Field tonight. Senzatela has been great at home by the numbers this season, so we will go with the Rockies ML (+143) as the best bet for today’s game.

Jack’s 2020 MLB picks: (21-16; all picks are one unit) A $100 bettor has a profit of $94