Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#5925 Los Angeles Angels vs.
#5926 Oakland Athletics
Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 9:40pm EDT
Written by Eric P.

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The Oakland Athletics play host to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night in the second game of the doubleheader from RingCentral Coliseum. After Friday's opener, the pair of games on Saturday could go a long way to shaping confidence and momentum for both teams as they close out the weekend and head into their mid-week sets of respective games. This weekend marks the first set of games that the two AL West rivals have played against each other this season. Last year though, the Athletics dominated the season series, winning 15 of 19 games, though this season is expected to be quite a bit different considering how things have started for both sides.

Angels Fighting Atop AL West

The Angels have been filled with talents for years now but it finally appears that they're doing something with all of that talent. They haven't made the playoffs since 2014 and already look primed to be in contention when things are said and done. Heading into the weekend, Los Angeles found itself in second place in the AL West, only a half-game behind the Astros, one of the most dominant teams in the American League over the last handful of years. In the last ten games, the Angels have a winning record and they've actually found more of their success on the road than at home. They have a 10-5 road record and while Oakland had their number last season, things have switched dramatically as 2022 has started, meaning the Angels will have their own confidence and momentum to bring into this one.

While the season started off injury-free for the most part, the injuries have been mounting of late. For positional players, Matt Duffy (illness) and David Fletcher (groin) remain out, as do their top two catchers on the depth chart. Adding in five relievers being ruled out for the weekend and the depth of the bullpen could be an issue.

The Angels will hand the ball off to Michael Lorenzen on Saturday night for the second game of the doubleheader. The righty has been solid this season, coming in with a 3-2 record and 4.13 ERA, with more rust coming as the season has progressed. Last time out against the Nationals, he allowed five runs and allowed three in the previous start. In his lone start against an AL West foe, he allowed four runs in only 3.1 innings of work against the Astros. The main concern is how deep into the start can he go, especially with the lack of quality arms available in the bullpen.

While the pitching and defensive numbers have been great for the Angels this season, the offense has been leading the way. Ranked third in OPS and second in home runs, the Angels rank fourth in baseball in runs scored per nine innings. Adding in a low strikeout rate has helped of course and with the talent at their disposal, balance throughout the lineup has been key. Mike Trout (.323 average, 9 HRs, .446 OBP) leads the way, and Shohei Ohtani (33 hits) has contributed as well. The key has been the depth of the lineup, with players like Jared Walsh (23 RBI) and Taylor Ward (.361 average, 7 HRs) has been one of the most dangerous hitters in the league this year.

Athletics Sitting In Divisional Basement

After years of success, the Athletics seem to be taking a step back this season and entering the rebuild mode of things. Having appeared in three of the last four postseasons, along with having a winning record last season, the Athletics find themselves in last place in the AL West heading into Saturday's doubleheader. Having gone 4-6 in their last ten games, they've actually been better away from home. With one of the worst home-field experiences in baseball, the Athletics are only 4-10 at home heading into the weekend. The poor home record is far from ideal and at a time when they are looking for a crucial win, they could find Saturday a continuation of a difficult open to the season.

While offseason moves really hurt this team, additional injuries of late haven't been ideal either. For positional players, Skye Bolt (oblique), Stephen Piscotty (calf), and Stephen Vogt (knee) all remain out. Adding in Cole Irvin (shoulder) and a pair of bullpen arms being ruled out for the weekend, the struggles don't necessarily have an end in sight.

It remains to be seen who Oakland will lean on to start out the game on the mound for Saturday evening's edition of the doubleheader. The question marks are an obvious concern, though the Athletics have been decent overall on the mound this season between the starting rotation and bullpen. They rank ninth in the league in runs allowed per nine innings and home runs allowed and while they don't strike many opponents out, they find a way to navigate through innings.

The offensive side of things has plagued Oakland this season though and could continue to be an issue. They rank 26th in runs per nine innings, which is unfortunate considering this is their best offensive rank. They rank dead last in OPS and without much power at the plate, keeping pace with opponents has been difficult. Sean Murphy (4 HRs, 17 RBI) has provided the production, while Sheldon Neuse (.281 average, .344 OBP) adds support. With a sub-.300 average leading the way, the concerns are obvious from a lineup perspective and it'll be interesting to see how they handle the second game of the day.

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The Angels won't have any issues coming with the win in the second game of their doubleheader. Oakland has established itself as one of the worst teams in baseball and their continuous struggles, even at home, mean that the Angels will grab the win. For the Angels, even just having their pitching lined up will be key, as the Athletics are unsure of where they'll turn to in this one. The Angels have one of the best offenses in all of baseball and their added ability to score runs and put pressure on Oakland to try to keep pace, will be more than enough for them to come away with the win. Oakland is awful at home, while the Angels have one of baseball's best road records. Adding in that the Athletics lack depth, playing in a double-header will continuously prove to be difficult for them.

Prediction: Angels -165

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With both teams having played earlier in the day, there could be some fatigue settling in for both sides, especially with some of the injuries that both sides are navigating. Lorenzen has been strong in the rotation and while he continues to be efficient, that isn't good news for an Oakland team that has very few dangerous hitters in their lineup. For the Angels, they have plenty of depth and talent but their struggles against the Athletics have been evident for years and the concern is that will continue into this one. If both starters can add depth to their start as well from an innings perspective, runs will be even more difficult for them to navigate around.

Prediction: Under 8
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Written By Eric Ploch , "Eric P."

Eric grew up surrounded by sports, whether it was spending the weekend catching games in person or on tv, or heading out to the fields to play whatever sport was in season. What started as a hobby, soon became a passion, as he became the sports editor of his high school newspaper, then wrote for his university newspaper during his undergrad years. After obtaining a degree in Sports Operations and Promotions, and spending 8 years deeply immersed in the sports world, Eric decided to take his love for analytics and predictions, and his experience, to online sports fans everywhere. James is now an integral part of our team here at StatSalt and has also been a very successful sports bettor over the years. Be sure and follow him daily.