Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#5913 Los Angeles Angels vs.
#5914 Oakland Athletics
Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 4:07pm EDT
Written by Mason Folz

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This Saturday the (22-12) Los Angeles Angels and the (14-20) Oakland Athletics will play the second game of this four-game series. These two teams will also play later in the day, as this is the first game of the double-header. The first pitch will be thrown out at 4:07 PM EST inside RingCentral Coliseum. This is the first series between these two teams this season.

The Los Angeles Angels are coming into this series after taking two of three games from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Angels looked great on the offensive side of the field in their two wins but will need to keep their bats rolling if they want to contend with the Athletics on the road.

The Oakland Athletics are entering this game after taking four of five games from the Detroit Tigers. They looked strong on both sides of the field in this series but will need to tighten up on the offensive side of the field if they want to hang with the Angels.

This game was published/written before last night’s results.

The Angels are Soaring on Offense

The Los Angeles Angels have started this season very strong, as they are currently in second place in the AL West. On the offensive side of the field, the Angels are currently scoring 4.88 runs per game and hitting .246 as a team. This is the fifth most runs scored per game and the sixth-highest team batting average. They have shown that they consistently string hits together to create big innings. They have also shown that they have some serious power littered throughout their batting order. The Angels are averaging 1.35 home runs per game, which is the second-highest average in the league right now. Los Angeles can change the game with one swing of the bat and they have multiple guys that can do it. This is an extremely deep batting order and the Angels believe that they can get a hit no matter where they are in the order. I am also expecting the Angels to stay aggressive on the base paths, as they have already stolen 21 bases, which is tied for the fifth most in the MLB. I would watch for Mike Trout at the plate in this one. He is currently hitting .323and has already poked out nine home runs. He is the best offensive player on the Angels team and I expect him to stay aggressive at the plate in this one.

On the defensive side of the field, the Angels have also been strong. They are currently holding their opponents to 3.50 runs per game and have a combined team WHIP rating of 1.07. This is the third-lowest WHIP rating in the league and the fifth least amount of runs given up per game. They are shutting down the opposing offense and making it very difficult for them to reach base safely. The Angels have also only recorded 11 quality starts, which is the 10th most in the league. They have a solid pitching rotation, but they have had to rely on their bullpen multiple times this season. The only other thing that the Angels need to take care of, is their fielding errors. They have already committed 19 this season, which is the 11th most in the league. They can't give their opponents any free bases and expect to win. According to MLB.com, Michael Lorenzen will be getting the start on the mound. He has started this season (3-2) with a 4.13 ERA. He hasn't started this season how he would have liked and I expect him to try and turn that around in this game. He also has a 1.16 WHIP rating, as he has allowed too many men to reach base safely. If he can limit the number of base runners that he allows, he will be able to go deeper into this game.

The Athletics Want to Keep Rolling

The Oakland Athletics have had an average start to the new regular season, as they are still in contention. They are currently in last place in the AL West but are only 1.5 games back from third place. On the offensive side of the field, they are scoring 3.41 runs per game and hitting .203 to begin this new season. This is the second least amount of runs scored per game and the lowest overall batting average. They are not making contact with the ball enough to worry the opposing defense. They are also only averaging .62 home runs per game, which is the 27th in MLB. They do not have many guys that have the power to hit the ball out of the park. They need to focus on getting base hits before they start to worry about the long ball. I am also expecting the A's to stay very aggressive on the base paths. They have already stolen 21 bases this season, which is tied for the fifth-most in the league. They will attempt to move their runners into scoring position as quickly as they can, as they also know that they have struggled to score as of late. I would watch for Sheldon Neuse at the plate in this one. He is currently hitting .281, which leads the team. He will need to stay aggressive at the plate and reach base multiple times if he wants to keep this one close.

On the defensive side of the field, the Athletics have also stayed strong this season. They are currently allowing 3.68 runs per game and have a combined team WHIP rating of 1.19. This is the 9th lowest runs allowed per game and the 9th lowest overall team WHIP rating. They aren't allowing too many runs each game and doing a decent job of limiting baserunners. Oakland has also only recorded nine quality starts, which is the 15th lowest number of quality starts in the league. They will need their starting pitcher to go deeper into this game if they want to have a chance against the Angels. They can't expect their bullpen to come into this game and shut down this high-powered offense. The Athletics have also already committed 23 fielding errors, which is the 7th most in the league. They must keep the ball in front of themselves, as they can't gift the Angels any free bases. According to MLB.com, Paul Blackburn will be starting on the mound. He has started this season (4-0) with a 1.74 ERA. He has been one of the better pitchers in baseball this season, as he also has a .87 WHIP rating. He isn't allowing many base runners and it has allowed him to chop through batting orders this season. I expect him to step on the mound with confidence and to attack the Angels hitters.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I will be riding with the home team in this matchup. The Oakland Athletics are coming into this series after taking four of five games from the Detroit Tigers. They looked great in this series and I see that carrying over into this one. The A's will also have Paul Blackburn on the mound to start this game and I just can't fade him. He has started this season (4-0) with a 1.74 ERA. He is cutting through opposing batting orders right now and he fears no one. Oakland has also been performing better on the defensive end. They are only allowing 3.68 runs per game and have a combed team WHIP rating of 1.19. They will keep the Angels off the base paths and keep this game within the run line spread (+1.5). This will be a low-scoring defensive battle, but the Angels will eventually have to turn to their bullpen, as Michael Lorenzen has struggled to begin this new season. The A's will generate multiple hits off of him and they will be able to keep this one close at home.

Pick the Oakland A's and take the run line spread (+1.5).

Prediction: Oakland Athletics +1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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This pick feels risky, but I love it. I understand the Angels are one of the best hitting teams in the league, but they will struggle against Paul Blackburn in this game. He has started this season (4-0) with a 1.74 ERA. Blackburn will be able to hold this high-flying offense and this game will stay very low scoring. If your book doesn't have the total set at (7.5), I would recommend buying to this number. The Athletics will also struggle at the plate in this game, as they are currently scoring the 29th least amount of runs per game and have the lowest overall team batting average. They will also struggle to score throughout, as the Angels have also been very strong on the defensive side of the field. They are currently allowing the fifth least amount of runs per game and have the third-lowest team WHIP rating. They will keep the A's off the base paths throughout this game and the score will stay low.

Both of these teams are going to struggle at the plate in this one. Take the under (7.5) runs and expect a defensive battle.

Prediction: Under 7.5
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Written By Mason Folz , "Mason Folz"

Mason graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder and he has been watching SportsCenter since before he could walk. He has been crunching numbers since he could learn to count and nothing makes Mason happier in this world than talking sports, unless he is on the golf course! We are very happy to have added Mason to our team at StatSalt and you will be glad as well. Let's win some money!