Los Angeles Angels vs Oakland A’s
The Oakland A’s are the hottest team in baseball right now, having won 10 in a row entering play tonight, and that doesn’t even included a suspended contest they had against Detroit in which they were winning as well at the time it got called off.
They took the series opener with the Angels yesterday afternoon thanks to an 8-5 win on Memorial Day, and tonight they send the red-hot Frankie Montas to the hill to try and assure themselves of another series victory.
So will the A’s be able to keep the good times rolling, or will LA step up and halt Oakland’s winning ways?
Montas has pitched quite a few gems as of late, as the A’s are 3-0 SU in his last three starts, with two of those wins coming over a quality foe like Cleveland. In between those two wins over the Indians was an 8.2 IP outing with 10 K’s for Montas in a 7-2 win @ Detroit, as outside of one bad outing vs Boston a month ago, opponents really struggle to put up more then two or three runs on Montas when he’s out there for the A’s.
Yet, even with that strong support from the market and numerous reasons out there to support the A’s tonight, the betting line for this game has stayed quite stagnant, if not going the other way by a few cents in favor of the Angels. That’s something that has to be taken note of regardless of where you land on this game, but it is interesting to note that line movement between two AL West teams in a division where everyone outside of the Astros are relatively close in terms of talent level.
The Angels are giving Nick Tropeano his first start with the big club tonight, as he’s sepent the first part of this year in Triple-A as he tries to get back, and stay at the big league level. Obviously having a “Triple-A” guy is behind some of the reasoning for what does seem like a bit of a steep price on Oakland, and how soon he turns it over to the Angels bullpen remains to be seen. But it’s not like this is someone who will be blinded by the big league lights tonight, and given how much the Angels rotation has hurt this team as a whole this year, Tropeano has to view tonight’s outing as a great opportunity to prove himself and assert himself into a role with the big league club the rest of the year.
Furthermore, while the betting market tends to love to subscribe to the notion of “not betting against streaks” because of the generic idea that riding streaks can win you multiple wagers while going against streaks can only win you one – along with being tough to pinpoint said streak ending – what gets lost in all of that is how much value you lose in market prices by subscribing to that belief. Sure, Oakland could win tonight, I mean they are a -170 favorite, but oddsmakers know that’s the prevailing line of thought in the market and continue to push the limits in terms of what they can seemingly get away with in shading lines on those streaking teams. Outside of the two wins in Detroit to begin this 10-0 SU run for the A’s, Oakland has not been larger than a -160 favorite in any game since then, and yet tonight they deserve to be 10 cents higher then the peak?
I don’t buy that at all, especially when the Angels bats have started to find more consistency over the past few weeks since getting healthier, and Montas is a good candidate to be in the class of guys who have ‘pitched over their head’ for some time now.
Add in the fact that the HP umpire tonight is James Hoye, someone who’s seen visiting teams nearly double the run production of home teams in his 10 games called – visitors score 6.3 runs/game with Hoye, compared to just 3.3 runs/game for the home side – and Oakland as an organization is 5-18 SU the last 23 times they’ve dealt with Hoye behind the dish, that inflated plus-money price tag on the Angels starts to look better and better.
So it’s not going to a popular selection as the stigma of betting against streaks will always remain strong, but give me the Angels tonight as this line does appear to be too steep for Oakland, and divisional games in the AL West that don’t involve Houston shouldn’t really see too many -170 and above lines in my opinion.
If Tropeano steps up and takes full advantage of this opportunity to be a big league contributor this year, that’s even better, but the value purely likes with LA tonight, and that’s where my investment has gone.
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