Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Indians Pick, Odds, Prediction 3/31/14
Cleveland Indians (0-0) at Oakland Athletics (0-0)
MLB Baseball: Monday, March 31, 2014 at 10:05 pm (O.co Coliseum)
Justin Masterson (R) (0-0) (0.00) vs. Sonny Gray (R) (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Oakland Athletics -135 / Cleveland Indians +115 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
The Oakland A’s and the Cleveland Indians face off on Monday in Oakland in an Opening Day battle of American League playoff teams from a year ago.
The Oakland A’s defied the odds last season beating the big payroll teams like the Rangers and the Angels to win the AL West by 5.5 games. The A’s came up big at home going 52-29 but this season they are hoping to advance past the ALDS. Josh Donaldson led the way for Oakland hitting .301 with 24 home runs. Yoenis Cespedes is a former Home Run Derby champ and should be better than ever, Coco Crisp provides the spark, and Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick are just part of a lineup that seems to come up with timey hits and runs on a nightly basis. Sonny Gray gets the opening day start while Jim Johnson comes over from Baltimore to assume the closer role.
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Indians had their ups and downs in 2013 but when all was said and done they were one of the AL Wildcard teams beating out the Texas Rangers. And finishing just a game behind the Tigers in the AL Central. Cleveland was just 41-40 on the road last season but they won their final 10 games. Cleveland was flooded with offers for third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall but they held pat and feel he is he future of the organization. Carlos Santana is the DH, Yan Gomes will handle the bulk of the catching duties, Nick Swisher will be at first base, and Michael Bourn covers center field and sets the table on the base paths. Justin Masterson gets the stat though Danny Salazar came on strong at the end of last season. John Axford takes over the closer role from Chris Perez.
Oakland is 43-21 in their last 64 home games, 26-12 in their last 38 games, 23-9 against the AL Central, and 5-1 in Gray’s last six starts. Cleveland is 4-0 in their last four road games, 20-6 in their last 26 games, 4-1 against a right handed starter, and 1-7 in Masterson’s last eight starts as a road underdog. Cleveland has won five of the last seven meetings of these two.
There are better games to wager on than this one but for the fan who likes a tactical game this will be one of the ones to watch as it should be a chess match. Oakland got off to a slow start a year ago but I look for them to fare better here and it is a lean to the home team.
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