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The Oakland Athletics will host the Chicago White Sox here in each team’s first game back following the All-Star break. Ivan Nova will start here for the White Sox, while the A’s will have Mike Fiers on the mound. The White Sox have been a pleasant surprise this season, while the A’s have been starting to pick things up. Oddsmakers have the A’s as sizable favorites here.
The White Sox have been a pleasant surprise this season. They haven’t been great by any means, they enter this one at just 42-44, but they’ve been competitive which is a major win for them. Chicago hasn’t been relevant in years, so it’s nice to see them headed in the right direction at the very least. Lucas Giolito has been a revelation, and he has carried the team for stretches. Unfortunately for them, Giolito won’t be pitching here, and they’ll have Ivan Nova on the mound instead.
A longtime veteran, Nova has been struggling in 2019. Through 18 starts, he has a 5.58 ERA. Nova doesn’t seem like he has too much left in the tank, although he did have a good outing in his last start before the break. Chicago has been solid at home this season, but they’ve struggled on the road. They’re just 1-4 in their last 5 road games and 3-8 in their last 11 road games vs. a right-handed starter. They’ve also struggled against the A’s, going 2-7 in their last nine games against Oakland. I’m high on this White Sox team and some of the young talent they’ve assembled, but they look like they’re still at least another year away. It’ll be very interesting to see how this youthful team fares coming out of the break.
A’s Picking It Up
Speaking of pleasant surprises, the A’s were the feel-good team of the 2018 season. They came out of nowhere to make the playoffs thanks to a series of shrewd low-cost moves, and expectations were understandably high entering this year. They got off to a slow start and were a pretty big disappointment over the first couple of months of the season. They’ve kicked it into a new gear recently and picked up a ton of momentum entering the break. They closed on a 14-5 run over their last 19 games, and are 7-2 in their last nine entering this one.
As they look to keep the momentum going, they’ll have Mike Fiers on the mound here. Fiers, like the rest of the team, has been on a roll. In four straight starts, he’s given up only one earned run, and he hasn’t given up a single home run in that span. He pitches much better at home and has a 2.91 ERA at home this year. Not surprisingly, Oakland is 12-4 in his last 16 home starts, and 5-1 in his last six starts overall. Oakland has fared well with extra rest in the past, as they’re 8-2 in their last ten games coming off of an off day. Even more impressive than Fiers has been the lineup, as the A’s have scored 45 runs over their last seven games.
- 12-4 in Fiers’ last 16 home starts
- 5-1 in Fiers’ last 6 starts overall
- 14-5 in their last 19 games overall
White Sox are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 road games
- 3-8 in their last 11 road games vs. a right-handed starter
- 2-7 in their last 9 games vs. Oakland
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This money line is a bit too steep, so I’d lay it on the run line here. Oakland has been winning by wide margins, and each of their last ten wins has come by multiple runs, so they should have no problem covering -1.5. The A’s have been on a roll recently, and Fiers always pitches better at home. The A’s are 12-4 in Fiers’ last 16 home starts, and facing off against Nova here there’s no way Oakland loses.
Prediction: A’s -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the over even more here. Nova has been pretty awful this season, and the over is 6-2 in his last eight road starts. The A’s have scored 45 runs over their past seven games, and they should have no trouble hitting Nova here. Chicago’s lineup is pretty underrated with a solid young core and the over is 11-1 the last 12 times these teams have played each other, so I see this one being pretty high scoring.