A pair of American League West squads return from trips to the Midwest for a four-game series beginning on Thursday when the Oakland Athletics play at the Los Angeles Angels. Both teams come into the series off two-game sweeps of National League opponents, with Oakland taking two from St. Louis and Los Angeles turning the trick against Cincinnati.
The third and fourth place teams in the American League West, respectively, Oakland and Los Angeles are in the thick of the Wild Card race in the AL. The Athletics sit 1.5 games behind Cleveland and Texas, who are tied for the second Wild Card spot, while the Angels are 3.5 games back.
The moneyline for this contest has the Oakland Athletics +147 and the Los Angeles Angels -157. The over/under has been set at 9.5.
Looking For A Win
Tanner Anderson will take the mound for the Athletics, looking for his first win of the season. The right-hander is making his fourth start of the season and is currently 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA. Anderson has 12 strikeouts and four walks in 15 innings of work. He’s coming off a four-inning start against Tampa Bay last weekend in which he allowed three earned runs on seven hits.
The Athletics are five games above .500 for the first time this season and look to be hitting their stride offensively. Third baseman Matt Chapman hit his team-leading 19th home run on Wednesday, and he also paces the team in RBI (44) and doubles (20). Shortstop Marcus Semien has also been hitting the ball well, batting a team-high .271 with 11 home runs, 40 RBI and 53 runs scored.
The Angels will send rookie right-hander Griffin Canning to the mound for the series opener. Canning is 2-4 with 3.88 ERA this season but is trying to snap a personal three-game losing streak. Canning had a decent outing in his last start, going 5 1/3 innings against St. Louis and allowing just four hits and two earned runs, but he took the loss as he couldn’t get any run support in a 5-1 setback. On the season, Canning has 57 strikeouts and 13 walks in 55 2/3 innings, though he’s also allowed 10 home runs.
Mike Trout continues to be the main story when talking about the Angels’ offense, as he leads the team in batting average (.303), home runs (22), RBI (56) and runs scored (63). But he’s not the only story to be told, as third baseman Tommy La Stella is putting together a potential All-Star season. La Stella is batting .296 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI, with his 16 home runs coming after he’d hit only 10 in his previous five seasons in the majors coming into 2019.
Angels Win Opener
Los Angeles seems to be putting things together, and they’re playing at home in this one. Look for Trout to have a big game, and Canning to pitch well enough to finally get another win. Oakland won’t make it easy, but I’m taking Los Angeles -157 in this game.