Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 7/18/14
Baltimore Orioles (52-42) at Oakland Athletics (59-36)
MLB Baseball: Friday, July 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm (O.co Coliseum)
Chris Tillman (R) (7-5) (3.954) vs. Jeff Samardzija (R) (3-8) (2.780)
The Line: Oakland Athletics -173 / Baltimore Orioles +163 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: MAS2, CSCA
Division leaders from opposite coasts collide on Friday night at the O.co Coliseum.
The Baltimore Orioles enter the second half of the season with a four game lead in an AL East division that is far less than competitive than prior years with just two teams above .500. Although Chris Davis’ production has tapered off this year and Matt Wieters is out for the year, the Orioles are still a strong offensive club ranking 4th in the league in batting average at .265, 5th in slugging at .420, and 9th in runs scored. All-Stars Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones have been leading the charge with a combined 44 HR’s 128 RBI’s. The starting pitching staff leaves some question marks heading to the finish line but Friday’s starter Chris Tillman has proven a capable top of the rotation pitcher in the past two years despite a mediocre start to the 2014 campaign. For the year Tillman has a WHIP of 1.39 and ERA of 4.11 to go along with a decent 7-5 record. The Orioles are a respectable 26-19 on the road this year but also dropped two of three to the A’s at the beginning of June in the only series between these teams this year.
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The Oakland A’s have the best record in baseball at 59-36 but unfortunately it only leaves them a 1.5 game cushion in the AL West over an Angels team that has finally put it all together. The A’s own a dominant +145 run differential as the bats and arms have both been stellar all year, getting contributions from unlikely sources as we’ve come to expect. Oakland is batting .251 on the year but cashing in on opportunities as they rank 2nd in the league in runs scored. For Friday’s opener the A’s start Jeff Samardzija as he makes his third appearance for his new club after being liberated from the woeful Cubs. Samardzija has been solid all season with a WHIP of 1.14 and ERA of 2.78, and now has a chance to turn hard luck losses into wins with a real team backing his efforts. The Athletics have the second best home record in the league at 30-15, trailing only their division rivals the Angles.
The A’s are a tough team to beat, especially at home, but with the inflated price we’re seeing here it gives the opportunity to get a decent price on a first place team getting 1.5 runs. With the total set at 7.5 it’s likely this plays tight giving the O’s a chance to get the cover even in a losing effort.