October 21, 2020

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San Francisco Giants vs Oakland Athletics: Preview & Best Bet – 9/18/20

By: Jack O’Keefe

The Giants were in quite a battle yesterday afternoon against the Mariners. They squeaked out the win against Seattle, and the Giants remain very much in playoff contention. The Giants will have a short trip from San Francisco to Oakland for a three-game series against the Athletics this weekend. Logan Webb will get the go for the Giants and Chris Bassitt will start tonight for Oakland. What can we expect to see Friday night in the Battle of the Bay series? Read below to find out!

Money Line: SF +143, OAK -166

Run Line: SF +1.5 (-145), OAK -1.5 (+125)

Total: 8.5 (O -110, U -110)

First Pitch: 8:40 PM CST, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA

San Francisco Giants (25-24)

The Giants needed all the outs they could get in Thursday’s game against Seattle. After jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning, courtesy of a Darin Ruf solo shot, the Mariners responded right back with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. The score stood at 4-1 in favor of Seattle for a few innings, but Evan Longoria came through in the sixth inning with an RBI knock to left field. Brandon Crawford hit a sacrifice fly to center field that same inning, trimming the lead down to just one run. Wilmer Flores came through in the seventh inning with a clutch two-run triple with two outs, to give the Giants a 6-4 lead. Thanks to some strong relief pitching from the Giants, especially early on due to Tyler Anderson’s ejection, the Mariners were held off the board for all but one inning. Wandy Peralta pitched three clean innings following Anderson’s ejection. Rico Garcia, Tony Watson, Tyler Rogers and Sam Selman all pitched great out of the bullpen yesterday for the Giants as well. Sam Selman picked up his first career save yesterday for the Giants. Unfortunately, the Giants may be without their young star outfielder, Mike Yastrzemski, for a few days due to a tight right calf. The Giants removed Yastrzemski from the game following the injury and replaced him with Luis Basabe. The young prospect just so happened to pick up his first major league hit yesterday as well for the Giants. Yastrzemski is a bat the Giants will likely miss, should he be out for an extended length of time (.285 batting average, 9 homeruns and 33 RBIs). Logan Webb gets the nod to start this evening for San Francisco, and he will be ever so determined to redeem himself against these Athletics. For those who do not remember, Webb was on the wrong end of a 15-3 blowout win by the Athletics earlier in the season. He pitched 4.1 innings that game and allowed just three runs, but the bullpen was tattooed upon Webb’s departure. After the Giants had won in the first three starts made by Webb, times have been rough for the young right-hander. The Giants have a record of 2-5 on games started behind Webb this season. He has only gone past the sixth inning once this season, so the Giants may need to rely on their bullpen to keep them afloat tonight. Webb has been better on the road this season, as he owns a road ERA of 3.74 on the 2020 campaign.

Oakland Athletics (31-19)

We did not get an in-depth recap of the last game played by the Athletics, so I am going to quick circle back to Wednesday for a minute here. Mike Fiers was dealing in Coors Field. He went 6 innings, allowed seven hits, one earned run and struck out four Colorado batters. Jake Diekman pitched 1.1 innings and struck out three batters. Liam Hendriks earned his 13th save by getting five outs, a little unconventional perhaps, but I am sure Liam did not mind the extra work. With what seemed like a rare off day to recover, it was a nice way to end the traveling frenzy and relax for a day in California. It was the A’s first win against the Rockies since 2015! Not to damper the mood, but the A’s were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. This really worries me that they just do not seem to have a knack for driving in runs right now. The recent acquisition of Jake Lamb looks to be paying dividends, and then some, as he has found new life with the Athletics. Lamb is now 5 for 11 at the plate since putting on an Oakland uniform. What I worry about is the big guy over at first base, Matt Olson. He finally got a double on Wednesday, but he had previously been 0 for 18 in at the dish. If the A’s want to make damage in October, the cleanup hitter cannot fall into hitless droughts like this one he had just experienced. If it were not for acquiring La Stella and Lamb, the A’s perhaps would be in a different mindset about October. The two additions have been critical pieces to the lineup, and I am sure they are happy to be on a contending ball club. Chris Bassitt gets the nod to start on Friday night for the Athletics. Bassitt has been lights out in September, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA for Oakland. He has not faced the Giants this season but given how well he has pitched at home this season (1.14), we can expect to see six or so strong innings from the right-hander.  

Analysis and Prediction:

Aside from the 15-3 blowout win for the A’s, the Giants have played close ballgames against the A’s this season. The other two games have been high-scoring contests as well, so I am a little surprised to see the run total so low in this game. I can see the combined total reaching double-digits, and the trends are pointing to the over being the move to make for this game as well. The A’s and Giants have seen the over hit in five out of their last six games played against each other. The one under that did hit had nine runs combined, so even the under was a high scoring affair. I know the Coliseum can be a pitcher’s park and Bassitt has been great at home this season… I just think we might have a good number of runs put on the board this evening. I am going to take the O8.5 runs (-110) for my best bet in tonight’s ballgame.

Jack’s 2020 MLB picks: (24-16; all picks are one unit) A $100 bettor has a profit of $399