Baltimore Orioles (56-58 SU, 57-57 RL, 57-54-3 O/U) vs. Oakland A’s (50-64 SU, 58-56 RL, 62-48-4 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 10, 2017, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California, 10:05 pm ET
Lines: Oakland -105, Baltimore -105; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the opener of a cross-country series up in Northern California. The Baltimore Orioles continue a road trip as they play the first of four against the Oakland A’s Thursday night. Baltimore dropped two of three to the Angels after falling 5-1 in the rubber game Wednesday. Oakland was swept in a brief two game home set with the Mariners after losing 6-3 in the finale Wednesday afternoon. The A’s held a 4-3 edge in the season series last year, including taking three of four here August 8-11, 2016.
Baltimore Orioles Fighting to Stay in Wild Card Picture
Baltimore was on a roll before dropping the final two games of their series with the Angels. The loss Wednesday dumped the Orioles 2.5 games behind the Mariners for the final wild card spot with four teams ahead of them. Tim Beckham was the lone Baltimore player with two hits in the game as the team finished with a total of four in the loss. Welington Castillo accounted for the Orioles’ run as he hit a solo homer, his 12th of the year, in the third inning. Kevin Gausman (8-8) took the loss on the mound after allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts over 5.1 innings of work.
Wade Miley takes the ball for his 24th start of the year for the Orioles. He is 5-9 with a 5.51 ERA, a 1.741 WHIP plus a league high 66 walks against 101 strikeouts in 114.1 innings of work. Miley recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came Saturday at home against the Tigers. He tossed five innings, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in an eventual 5-2 Orioles victory. He is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, seven walks and 14 strikeouts over 16 innings in his last three starts. Miley faces the A’s for the fourth time in his career in this contest: he is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over 20 innings of work. He is 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA and a 1.421 WHIP over 12.2 innings in his two career starts at the O.co Coliseum.
Oakland A’s Look to Play Spoiler
Oakland dropped both games of their set with the Mariners and are left trying to ruin the chances of other teams for the postseason. Matt Joyce (two runs, RBI) was the only A’s player with two hits in the game. Joyce (his 15th) and Khris Davis (his 31st) each homered in the loss for the A’s while Jed Lowrie knocked in the other Oakland run. The A’s finished the game 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Jharel Cotton (5-9) took the loss on the mound as he gave up six runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts over six innings.
Chris Smith gets the ball for his sixth appearance and fifth start of the season for the A’s here. He is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA, a 1.357 WHIP, 11 walks and 16 strikeouts over 28 innings of work this season. Smith didn’t factor in the decision in his last outing, which came last Thursday on the road against the Giants in relief. He allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts over four innings in a game the A’s lost 11-2. Smith is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP, eight walks and 10 strikeouts over 18 innings in his last three starts. He makes his third career appearance and first start against the Orioles in this contest: he has no record with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over four innings of work. Smith has no record with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.047 WHIP over 28.2 innings in his 11 career appearances, two starts, at the O.co Coliseum.
- Orioles are 4-1 in Miley’s last 5 starts on grass
- Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a left-handed starter
- Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 Thursday games
- Athletics are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. American League East
Oakland is playing out the string this season with a mix of younger guys that are trying to make a mark, a few solid veterans and a group of journeymen. The Orioles were playing some of their best baseball of the season before losing the last two games to the Angels. Baltimore is still in the thick of the race in the AL wild card picture but has to get hot again. Both pitchers are mediocre at best: look for the Orioles’ bats to do the damage and take the opening game of this set.