#976 Oakland A'svs.#975 Baltimore Orioles
Written by Chris Kubala
Baltimore Orioles (57-59 SU, 58-58 RL, 57-56-3 O/U) vs. Oakland A’s (51-65 SU, 59-57 RL, 62-50-4 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 13, 2017, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California, 4:05 pm ET
Lines: Baltimore -130, Oakland -120; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the conclusion of a cross-country series up in Northern California. The Baltimore Orioles continue a road trip as they play the last of four games against the Oakland A’s Sunday afternoon. Baltimore won the opening game of the series as they took a 7-2 win Thursday night. Oakland squared the series with a 5-4 victory Friday. The pitching matchup for Saturday’s third game of the series saw Dylan Bundy pitch for the Orioles against Oakland’s Sean Manaea. First pitch in the contest was set for 9:05 pm ET.
Baltimore fell for the third time in their last four games with the loss Friday night. The Orioles dropped two games behind the Twins in the race for the second wild card in the American League. Tim Beckham (run), Manny Machado (two runs) and Jonathan Schoop (two RBI) each had two hits in the game for Baltimore. Adam Jones added his 22nd homer of the season. Ubaldo Jimenez recorded a no-decision after allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts over 5.1 innings before leaving after being hit in the leg. Brad Brach (3-3) took the loss as he gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Jeremy Hellickson gets the call for his 23rd start of the year overall and his third for the Orioles after coming over from Philadelphia. He is 7-6 with a 4.45 ERA, a 1.229 WHIP, 32 walks and 77 strikeouts over 125.1 innings of work. Hellickson took the loss in his last start, which came on the road against the Angels Tuesday. He threw six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in a 3-2 Orioles defeat. Hellickson is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, four walks and 18 strikeouts over 18 innings in his last three starts. He makes his seventh career start against the A’s in this contest: he is 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.059 WHIP over 34 innings of work. Hellickson is 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA and a 0.982 WHIP over 18.1 innings in his three career starts at the O.co Coliseum.
Oakland rallied from a 4-3 deficit by scoring twice in the bottom of the eighth to take Friday’s game and square the series. Jed Lowrie (run, RBI) and Chad Pinder (RBI) each had two hits in the game for the A’s: Lowrie tied the game with a ground rule double and Pinder drove in the eventual winning run with a sacrifice fly. Paul Blackburn recorded a no-decision after going 5.2 innings: he allowed four runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Santiago Casilla (3-5) got the win with a scoreless eighth while Blake Treinen worked the ninth for his third save of the year.
Kendall Graveman takes the mound for the 11th time this season for Oakland in this contest. He is 2-3 with a 4.97 ERA, a 1.417 WHIP with 16 walks against 34 strikeouts over 54.1 innings of work this season. He missed two and a half months earlier in the season with a right shoulder strain. Graveman took a no-decision in his last start, which came at home Tuesday against the Mariners. He threw 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts in a 7-6, 10 inning, Oakland defeat. Graveman is 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA, a 1.95 WHIP, five walks and seven strikeouts over 13.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his seventh career appearance and fifth start against the Orioles in this contest. Graveman has a 1-2 record with a 7.08 ERA and a 1.525 WHIP over 20.1 innings of work against them. He is 8-10 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP over 29 starts totaling 178 innings at the O.co Coliseum in his career.
Graveman has struggled to regain his proverbial footing since coming off the disabled list. He is winless in his last eight starts and the A’s have dealt away several key veterans that could help right the ship. Baltimore is still right in the middle of the topsy-turvy AL wild card race and could make a move if they actually take care of business against mediocre teams. The Orioles have the edge on the mound here and they have a better lineup: that should be enough to ensure no worse than a split in the series, regardless of what happens Saturday.
Baltimore continues to be in the midst of the parity that has consumed the American League. The Orioles are one of seven teams entering Saturday who were within three games of the second wild card spot. That’s an impressive feat given the fact that the team is two games under .500 and hasn’t been able to find a starting pitcher who has been consistent all season. Oakland on the other hand, continues to retool and rebuild as Billy Beane continues to try and tinker with the Moneyball strategy that made him a household name several years ago.
The under is 5-0 in the Orioles’ last 5 vs. a team with a losing record, 5-0 in their last 5 on grass, 8-0 in their last 8 when their opponent scores 5 runs or more in their previous game, 7-0 in their last 7 games following a loss and 5-0 in their last five games against AL West opponents. Oakland has seen the under go 5-1 in their last six contests against AL East foes. The teams have stayed under the total in five of their last six meetings overall and five of their last six in Oakland. Look for this one to just slip under the total as well.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.