The Athletics are looking primed for a strong finish to the month of August, taking a 4-game series from the Astros before sweeping the Yankees. The Giants, on the other hand, are just looking to get back to .500 after losing 4 straight, including a sweep at the hands of the Cubbies. This is an extremely important 2-game series, one that could put the Giants in a hole they won’t be able to climb out of.
Money Line: San Francisco Giants +128, Oakland Athletics -138
Run Line: San Francisco Giants +1.5 (-160), Oakland Athletics -1.5 (+140)
Over/Under: 8.5 (O -115, U -105)
First Pitch: 8:07 p.m. CST. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California
San Francisco Giants
The Giants have been extremely inconsistent of late, especially offensively. Their current 4-game losing streak consisted of 3 games of scoring 3 runs or fewer. They send their ace Mad Bum to the mound, in what is looking like a must-win for the Giants, who now have fallen to 6 games back from that second wildcard spot. The problem here is that Mad Bum is a completely different pitcher on the road this season. Away from Oracle Park, he has a 4.76 ERA (1.63 ERA at home) with a .279 BAA. He pitched against this Athletics squad only 11 days ago, and shut them down over 7 stellar innings, but look for the Athletics to adjust. I don’t think the Giants’ middle-of-the-pack road offense will be able to stand up to this top-10 pitching staff.
The Athletics have taken down some “giants” this week, pun intended. Beating up on the Astros and then sweeping the Yankees in a 3-game set. They’ve put themselves in a position where they are percentage points ahead of the Indians for the 2nd wildcard spot in the AL. They’ve been able to do so with some great pitching. Over the last 2 weeks they have a team ERA of 3.12. This is impressive given the quality teams they’ve gone up against. A big reason for that is Chris Bassitt, tonight’s starter. He has been very solid, especially over his last handful of starts where he’s pitched to a 1.80 ERA in 25 innings. This bodes well for the Athletics as he matches up against a less then potent offense. If he continues this impressive run, the Athletics should be able to put up enough runs to win.
Analysis and Prediction
I’m a little surprised the Athletics are only a -138 favorite. Bumgarner still has some left in the tank, but his home vs. road splits are pretty telling. Combine that with an offense that can’t be relied upon and an Athletics’ pitching staff that is in a groove, and I see the Athletics continuing to roll. The Athletics are 9-1 straight up in their last 10 home games as well, so take them on the moneyline!