Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Oakland Athletics head to Oracle Park to face the resurgent San Francisco Giants in the series opener in an Interleague match-up on Tuesday night. Madison Bumgarner will start for the Giants. He is unbeaten in his last nine starts. Left-handed Brett Anderson will start for the A’s.
The Giants have a losing home record (28-32), while the Athletics have been classy on the road, with a 30-28 record.
Athletics clinical, but batting a worry?
To date, the Oakland Athletics have had a season they can be proud of. They haven’t been able to keep up with the superiority of the Houston Astros, leaders of the AL West, but the A’s have easily been the second-best team in the division as evidenced by their recent form this deep in the season (six wins in their last nine games).
The Athletics closed out their series against the Chicago White Sox with typical class, shutting out the White Sox in a 2-0 win. Chris Bassitt threw seven innings, allowing four hits with two walks while striking out seven batters. An ERA of 4.05 puts them tied with the Chicago Cubs, fifth in the MLB.
Considering a modus operandi that revolves around clinical pitching, the Athletics batting has stood out too. They have hit a total of 599 runs, with 558 RBI, which puts them 10th in the MLB batting charts. They’d be pleased with those statistics going into the final leg of the regular season.
Still, there are areas to improve as the Athletics struck out 16 times against the White Sox. “It’s a lot better feeling when you strike out that many times when you win the game than if you lose it,” manager Bob Melvin said. “At least we didn’t have to run down the line too hard today and nobody got hurt pulling any hamstrings.”
AJ Puk and Jesus Luzardo’s status remains day-to-day. Puk should return to the Athletics’ lineup at some point during their run at home. Stephen Piscotty missed the White Sox decider due to illness.
Giants one game away from Arizona and 0.500
After a four-game losing streak that saw the San Francisco Giants slump below 0.500, they seem to have regained some lost ground with a clinical series against the Philadelphia Phillies. They rounded off the series with a 9-6 victory on Sunday that improved their record to 59-60, one win away from 0.500.
The Giants may have scored nine runs against the Phillies, but there are some serious concerns around their batting prowess. Overall, they are ranked 26th in the MLB, with just 511 runs and 972 hits in 119 games. Lots of work to do with Arizona (59-59) ahead of them and San Diego behind.
The inning that led the Giants to a 9-6 win:
Kevin Pillar triple for the lead ✅
Closer Will Smith’s first career AB, hit and RBI ✅ pic.twitter.com/UbxNNDuBIv
— ESPN (@espn) August 12, 2019
The Giants pitching has kept them in several games this season. An ERA of 4.37 is very respectable, keeping their opponents’ batting average down to .252. With a tough series against the Athletics coming up, the Giants will depend on Bumgarner and the pitching again.
Pablo Sandoval is day-to-day with some inflammation in his right elbow. He was therefore limited to pinch-hitting against the Phillies.
The Giants are:
- 2-6 in their last 8 interleague games against a left-handed starter.
- 1-5 in their last 6 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- 1-5 in their last 6 interleague home games.
- 1-6 in their last 7 games following a win.
- 1-7 in their last 8 interleague home games against a left-handed starter.
The Athletics are:
- 4-0 in their last 4 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game.
- 13-3 in their last 16 games following an off day.
- 7-2 in their last 9 interleague games against a team with a losing record.
- 7-2 in their last 9 road games against a team with a losing home record.
- 22-7 in their last 29 against a team with a losing record.
- 9-3 in their last 12 road games against a team with a losing record.
- 23-9 in their last 32 Tuesday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Put the batting and pitching of these two sides together. You would see a massive difference in the combined ability of both these teams. The Giants may have Bumgarner in this game, but it might not be enough because their batting has been decidedly under-par this season.
The Athletics have been a force this year with their pitching. That is unlikely to change against the Giants. With form, confidence and history on their side, the Athletics seems a rather obvious choice.
Prediction: Oakland Athletics
Full-Game Total Pick
Bases loaded, homers, runs. That just seems difficult to envision in this game. There will plausibly be a slow start to the game, with a run or a mistake deciding the game. The total handicap is likely to be significantly lower than average, but I’d still back the under when two decent pitching teams go head to head.