The Oakland Athletics continue their east coast swing as they visit the Baltimore Orioles. It's time to continue our MLB odds series with an Athletics-Orioles prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.
Aaron Boone came out of his series with the Orioles calling them true contenders. Contenders beat the teams they are supposed to, and this 2-7 Athletics squad qualifies for that category. Baltimore comes into the game after dropping two of three to the Yankees and is 4-5 on the season. After giving up 27 runs in their first three games of the season, the pitching staff has improved. They have given up just 22 runs in the 6 games since their opening series with the Red Sox. The Athletics come in at 2-7 and have lost their last four. The last two games have been awful, losing each of those 11-0 to the Rays.
Here are the Athletics-Orioles MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Athletics-Orioles Odds
Oakland Athletics: +1.5 (-134)
Baltimore Orioles: -1.5 (+112)
Over: 8 (-115)
Under: 8 (-105)
How To Watch Athletics vs. Orioles
Time: 6:35 PM ET/ 3:35 PM PT
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Why The Athletics Could Cover The Spread
The Athletics needs to figure out their pitching, and quickly. In their seven losses on the season, the lowest amount of runs they have given up is six, and they have given up 11 or more runs four times already this year. Their team ERA is 28th in the MLB, at 7.00 on the season. Starting pitching has not been great. James Kaprielian has an 11.17 ERA in two starts. Ken Waldichuk is at a 14.52 ERA in his two starts. Shintaro Fukinami is at a 17.55 ERA in his two starts. Luckily for the A's, none of those three will be on the hill today.
That honor goes to JP Sears, who has made one start this year. He was not stellar, but in comparison to his fellow starters, he is amazing. His one start saw him give up three runs a home run and eight hits in just 4.2 innings of work. That was enough though, as the Athletics won that game 4-3. This will be his third start in his short career against Baltimore. Combined with one relief appearance, Sears has given up just two runs in 12 innings and has a 2-0 record against the O's.
To get to another win, he will need some run support. That may be hard to come by as their team's .209 batting average is 28th in MLB. Right now, only two guys on the roster are hitting over .250. One is Carlos Perez, who has two hits in five at-bats. The other is Conner Capel, who has three hits in 11 at-bats. Their regulars are just not producing for them. Tony Kemp shows some of the most promise. He is second on the team with four RBIs and has an on-base percentage of .306. He will have to get some help if the Athletics will win today though.
Why The Orioles Could Cover The Spread
The Orioles are not doing much better than the Athletics in terms of team batting average. They are hitting just .245, which is 19th in MLB. The big difference comes on OBP, where the O's are currently at .337, good for 11th in baseball. When they get on base, watch for them to run. They lead the majors with 14 stolen bases on the year. Jorge Mateo and Cedric Mullins lead that charge, as they have combined for nine of the 14 stolen bases on the year. Mateo is getting on base a lot too, which an on-base percentage of .400 on the season. Mullins is struggling to get on base, but his hits are producing. With just a .189 average and .268 OBP, he still has those four steals, and eight RBIs to be tied for the team lead.
There is also Adley Rutschman, who broke out in the first game of the season. He had cooled off a little since but roared back yesterday going 4-4 with a home run and RBI. Another bright spot for the Orioles' offense has been Ryan Mountcastle. He is second on the team in RBIs, and second in total bases. His biggest issue has been the strikeout, in which he is tied for the team lead.
The Orioles will send out their ace today, with Kyle Gibson looking to pick up his third win of the year. On the season he has given up six runs in 12 innings of work while picking up a win both times. In his last start against Texas, he was stellar. He went seven innings, giving up two solo home runs in the 7-2 Baltimore victory. If he pitches like that again, it will be hard for the Athletics to score.
Final Athletics-Orioles Prediction & Pick
One interesting thing to watch in this game will be errors. The Baltimore Orioles sit 26th in fielding percentage this season, but the Athletics are worse. They are dead last in the MLB with eight errors in eight games and a .972 fielding percentage. Still, the Orioles have better hitting and better pitching. They are putting out their best pitcher, and against a poor offense of the Athletics, he will do great again. Gibson goes seven once again, and the Orioles score enough to get the win.
Final Athletics-Orioles Prediction & Pick: Orioles -1.5 (+106) and Under 8.5 (-122)