The Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels are set to begin a three game series with this contest Monday night. Oakland is fresh off of a sweep over the struggling Astros while the Angels succumbed to a sweep in their last series with Texas. First pitch is scheduled for approximately 9:40 PM ET from Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Clear skies are in the forecast, so weather won't be an issue for this AL West showdown.
Athletics Have Built A Lead In The AL WestAfter a 3-4 start to the season, Oakland has been rolling as they have now won nine straight. We knew that the Athletics would be competitive this season when it came to this division, but I'm not sure anyone expected that they would be holding a five game lead this early in the season. Pitching has been the driving force as the team is tied for 17th in runs scored per game (4.27) and 23rd in batting average (.213) but they sit 3rd in runs allowed per game (3.07) and 5th in WHIP (1.07).
Oakland will roll with Sean Manaea on the mound for this one. Despite solid pitching as a whole from the team, Manaea has been knocked around. He's given up 13 runs (11 earned) on 17 hits with two home runs in 12.1 innings across three outings. It's worth noting that Manaea has struck out 12 and he's only walked one batter so far this year, so he's showing signs of a strong pitcher. He's hoping for a better outing against the Angels the second time around after giving up four runs to the team in 4.2 innings during his first start of the season.
Dismal Start To The Season For The AngelsWhatever hopes that Los Angeles came in to this season with have since gone to the wayside. The start to the season has been less than spectacular for a team with a ton of potential. The Angels are currently sitting in last place in the AL West at seven games back, and there isn't many signs indicating that improvement is coming. The team is currently ranking 12th in runs scored per game (4.6) but towards the bottom in everything else as they're 24th in batting average (.211), 24th in runs allowed per game (4.87) and 25th in WHIP (1.37).
Julio Teheran will take the hill for Los Angeles in this one, and he's looking to work later in the game than he did in his season debut. The former Braves hurler was behind on schedule after a positive COVID-19 test during Summer Camp. In his first game of the year, he only tossed 2.2 innings against the Mariners and gave up two runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Teheran was spotty last season for Atlanta, but we know that he can be really good when his command is there.
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These two teams have been a tale of two tapes, and getting Oakland at this price seems like a steal. Sure, they've won nine straight and those who follow baseball toughly know that it's hard to continue to string wins together. However, this is not a matchup that favors the Angels. Manaea hasn't been the same this year after coming off of shoulder surgery, but I expect him to find his groove sooner rather than later. The Angels haven't been bad at plating runs as they rank 12th in the league, but their pitching staff has been horrible as a whole. Los Angeles will toss Julio Teheran who doesn't help their case in bad pitching as he is the definition of inconsistent although he wasn't bad in his short debut against Seattle. Manaea got knocked around by the Angels in his first game of the season, but his offense was good enough to bail him out then. The Athletics are rolling and although the over is worth a look in my opinion, I can't pass up the opportunity to ride the hot team for a small juiced price.