Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels - 7/24/20 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels - 7/24/20 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels (0-0) at Oakland Athletics (0-0)

MLB Baseball: Friday, July 24, 2020 at 10:10 pm (Ring Central Coliseum)

Andrew Heaney (0-0) (0.00) vs. Frankie Montas (0-0) (0.00)

The Line: Oakland Athletics -145 / Los Angeles Angels +125 --- Over/Under: 8.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland A’s meet in an AL West division matchup in MLB action from the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday night.

The Los Angeles Angels come into this shortened season looking to rebound from an up and down 2019 season that saw its fair share of tragedy and disappointment at season’s end. The Angels finished with a record of 72-90 for their 4th straight losing season. The poor finish led to the reliving of Brad Ausmus’ duties as manager and replacing him with Joe Maddon who had just been let go by the Cubs after missing the playoffs for the first time in five years as Chicago’s bench boss. Lineup-wise, the Angels have a formidable one-two punch in reigning AL MVP Mike Trout, who is just coming off of his third MVP award, followed by Anthony Rendon who was plucked away from the Nationals at a cost of seven years and $245 million. Shohei Ohtani, Andrelton Simmons, Albert Pujols, and Justin Upton are just a few more names on the Angels roster as well for 2020. As far as the pitching rotation goes, there’s not really a standout ace, but many are tabbing that to be Andrew Heaney while the likes of Ohtani, Griffin Canning and co. will be tasked with making up a starting group that can contend in the competitive AL West. Heaney is expected to get the start here after going 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA and 118 strikeouts last season. In his career, Heaney is 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA and 43 strikeouts against Oakland.

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The Oakland A’s come into the 2020 season looking to stay the course after finishing the year with 97 wins for the second straight year, but once again, the A’s stay in the postseason was short-lived as Oakland ended up getting eliminated in the wild card game. The A’s haven’t been known for lineup consistency over the years, but for Oakland, a lot of the usual suspects are back, including the power group of Matt Olson, Marcus Semien, and Matt Chapman who all had 30+ home runs and 90+ RBIs last season, as well as Khris Davis, Stephen Piscotty and Ramon Laureano. The big question mark for the A’s is can the rotation stays healthy. Mike Fiers is Oakland’s workhorse after posting 30+ starts in four of the last five years, with Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas as the #2 and #3 in the rotation, but Manaea was dealing with a comeback from shoulder issues last season while Montas battled injuries as well as suspensions last year. The rest of the rotation is up for grabs, but A.J. Puk and Jesus Luzardo look to be the front-runners for those two spots while long guys like Chris Bassitt and Daniel Gossett could see some starts as well at some point throughout the year. Montas is expected to start on opening night and was 9-2 with a 2.63 ERA with 103 strikeouts last season. In his career, Montas is 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA and 23 strikeouts against the Angels.

Los Angeles is 7-21 in their last 28 road games and 7-19 in their last 26 division games while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 games as a road underdog. Oakland is 18-8 in their last 26 games overall and 84-41 in their last 125 home games while the under is 6-0 in their last 6 division games. The Angels are 1-7 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams and 3-9 in the last 12 meetings between these two teams in Oakland.

This should be one of the better games for opening day, but with that said, while the Angels made a huge move by signing Rendon and Mike Trout is always going to be a difference-maker, I’m not sure about what the rest of the lineup, especially the pitching rotation, brings to the table. Oakland has a tendency to be a slow starter, but they can’t afford that in a shortened season and I think the A’s get off to a good start here so I’ll lay the juice with Oakland in this one.

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Chris’s Pick Oakland -145

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.