MLB Picks And Predictions: Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics

Author: Mansi


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Last season saw the Oakland A’s thrashing the Angels over the entire course of the season. It is unlikely that this will change this season, and their first match against each other is this matchday. The MLB will see 28 teams playing each other in 14 games on Friday, the full Opening Day right after the Yankees v. Nationals game. 

Look at how the A’s played last season. They won 13 of their 19 games including their seven wins from the final eight games. The scores were also not close margins in their wins. Their home record is also stellar, with 7 out of 10 games won with ease at home. They have always gone over on the odds picked out for them in their last five home games. Oakland is the clear favorite in this game. 

The LA Lineup

LA has a losing record coming into this season with 72-90. That is a whopping 35 games behind the AL West winner Houston. They finished under .500 for the fourth season in a row, which is a new low for them, that only ever happened in 1971-1977. Their manager Brad Ausmus was fired because of this. They do have the best in the offense, including their outfielder Mike Trout. He’s a 3 time AL MVP who is a favorite at this point to win a fourth MVP title this year with his odds way ahead of everyone else. The only other player who has ever won more than three MVP titles is Barry Bonds at a whopping seven, but he was tainted in a steroid scandal, which more than nullifies some of his wins.  

The LA team has always found it hard to make it to the playoffs and even the one time that they did this season, they ended up losing poorly to the Kansas City Royal. They don’t have an idea of who will be pitching too, with only big names signed to them this season - Anthony Rendon. He helped the Washington Nationals immensely with their victory last season - the Washington Nationals won the World Series last year as he hit .319 with 34 home runs and 126 RBIs. 

There is an issue with his playing readiness though. He has tightness and soreness in his oblique, and it’s not likely he’ll play on Friday. David Fletcher might fill in at third. It will also mark Angels’ Joe Maddon making his managerial debut, who was important to the Cubs lifting the World Series title in 2016. Oddly enough, he was let go after that season.

Left-handed Andrew Heaney will be starting for the LA team. His stats are very poor - 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 18 starts last year, and 20 home runs allowed. The fact that he’s starting Opening Day shows everyone how poor the team is. It is his first-ever opening day start, as the Angels have swapped out their pitchers every season for Opening Day, since 2015, before which Jered Weaver played six opening days from 2010 to 2015.

The Oakland A’s Roster is on Fire

The management of the Oakland A’s is an enviable one - they have used the smallest budget possible and built up the best roster. This hasn’t hurt their gameplay at all - they won 97 games in each of the last two seasons. They made it to the Wild-Card Game but lost both times at this stage. This is a feat for the team because it is only the third time in history that they’ve been able to win this many games in consecutive seasons. 

The team has a great record chock-full of winning streaks at 52-29 from last season. Oakland’s pitchers have a much better record at home, a whole point lower in ERA than their away record. They need to focus on getting better starts to games, and the season as a whole. It has been noticed that they are usually slowing to get adjusted to the season and most of their wins come during the middle and end of the season. 

The Oakland A’s will see their young player Frankie Montas get on the mound. He was a pleasant surprise last year with 9-2 and a 2.63 ERA in 16 starts. This is despite his ERA being at an all-time career-low, but he did sneak in career highs in wins, starts, and strikeouts. Montas was suspended for 80 games, so he couldn’t play many games last season. I would bet on the outcome to be in favor of the A’s.

 


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