Los Angeles Angels (+143) at Oakland A’s (-153, 7 o/u)
After a dismal start to the season, the Oakland A’s (29-40, 12-19 Home) are trying to make their way out of the AL West basement; winning four of the last five games is a start, but the under-achieving squad remains two games back of the fourth-place Mariners and a full 11.5 games behind division-leading Houston. Tonight, the A’s will look to move a little higher up the totem poll when they host the Los Angeles Angels (34-33, 15-18 Away) at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland (9:35 PM Eastern) in the first of a three-game series..
Oakland took three of their four games against the Padres during interleague play, but lost their last outing 3-1. The A’s offense has been heating up of late, averaging 8.0 runs per game over the last five, including an 8-1 win over the Angels, followed by 9-1 and 16-2 thumpings of the Padres.
The A’s lineup might not need much in the way of run support tonight, though, as early Cy Young favorite Sonny Gray (8-3, 1.60 ERA) takes the mound. Gray has won three of his last four starts and was the pitcher of record for Oakland in the 8-1 win over the Angels last Saturday.
“It’s fun every time I go out there,” Gray said to the Associated Press after tossing 7.2 innings of five-hit, one-run ball while striking out nine. “It’s still real early, but it’s just nice to go out there and get some innings and put the team in a position to win. I’m just throwing the ball well and getting some good defense behind me.”
The Los Angeles Angels will counter with Matt Shoemaker (4-5, 4.85 ERA). The righty got off to a fast start, but has struggled of late, winning just once in his last five starts. He was on the mound for the Angels last Saturday, getting touched up by the A’s for six hits and four runs in just 5.2 innings of work.
Other than the venue, not much has changed in five days, and Gray remains one of the most dominant pitchers in the majors. Now working at home, take Gray and the A’s to continue their hot streak.
Pick: Oakland (-153).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Mike Trout Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)