MLB Update: The Best MLB Picks For Friday's Opening Day

Author: Mansi


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Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics

The Oakland A’s played against the Angels last year when they thrashed them successfully. This trend is likely to continue as we go into their game on Friday, despite playing in the Bay Area, home to the Angels. The first full opening day will be on Friday when all 28 teams, except the Nationals and the Yankees, will be in action. 

The A’s crushed the game last year, with 13 out of 19 games won. This feat also includes 7 out of 8 final eight games won. At home, they won seven of the ten games played. Overall, their odds look solid. They’re the clear favorite for this match at a -142 at most sportsbooks, with the Angels at +131. 

Who will be playing?

The LA team does not seem like a worthy competitor to the A’s. They are coming off a losing streak from last year, and they are behind the AL West winner Houston by 35 whole games. They lost their manager from their previous few seasons, which is a sign of good things to come. Their offensive players have tons of potential, including Mike Trout. If used properly, this talent can take them far. 

LA has only reached the playoffs once when Trout was playing. They have a lot of troubles hanging in limbo this season, but they did strengthen their line up to help Trout. This includes their biggest signup - Anthony Rendon. He helped the Nationals win big last year because he hit .319 with 34 homers and 126 RBIs - the most in the MLB - in the regular season alone. 

Rendon could not be a part of this Opening Day squad though. His obliques are messed up due to extended gameplay and injury, so, it isn’t in good enough form for him to play. David Fletcher could replace him. Joe Maddon will also be making his managerial debut with this game as the manager after his stint with the Cub led to their winning the World Series title in 2016. It’s always been a mystery why he was fired after helping the Cubs win. 

For the Angels, Andrew Heaney will be starting. He’s 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 18 starts last-year alone. These stats speak for themselves, as it shows how poor their roster is concerning depth and talent than Heaney is starting. 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 team is 7-19 in its past 26 AL West games, so, it's easy to understand the apprehension to back the team. 

Will the A’s Prevail?

The management of the A’s is top-notch - they have used the smallest budget possible and built up a team with the best players possible. Contrary to what you might think, this didn’t affect their results negatively. Instead, it helped them win 97 games and do better than ever before. They have been unlucky when it comes to the Wild Card game though, making it to the game twice but losing both the times. This roster has helped them win almost more games than ever before, only twice in the history of their club have they won more Championship games.

Their home stats are nothing, but a winning streak with 52-29. A’s pitchers have the second-best ERA in the AL and their ERA is nearly one point lower at home than it is in their away games. But their issue lies in winning games only towards the middle and the end of the season. They have an equal win and loss ratio in the first quarter or so matches that they played in the last two years. But with the shortened season, they will have to change that to ensure that they can win more without taking time to adjust to the MLB. 

The team will also be introducing some phenomenal young players, and this includes Frankie Montas who will get on the mound for them. His previous season stats are glowing - a 9-2 and a 2.63 ERA in 16 starts. He managed to gain career highs in wins, starts, and strikeouts from this season alone. But this was lower than his average career ERA, which shows us how much more he is capable of. The issue is, he is coming back from an extended suspension period. I would bet on the outcome to be in favor of the A’s.


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