TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION SUNDAY, AUGUST 23RD
#970 OAKLAND with Montas (-130) over LA Angels with Bundy at 4:10 PM EST
Off yesterday’s 4-3 home loss to the Halos, the A’s won’t waste any time getting back on the winning track. Oakland’s advantage in the AL West is 3.5-games over Houston and the Athletics need this victory in order to keep its cushion comfortable in the standings.
On the bump for manager Bob Melvin’s crew will be right-hander Frankie Montas. In his last start at Arizona, No. 47 got throttled allowing nine earned runs and six hits (two of which left the building) in only 1.2 innings of work. Thankfully, in his own backyard, Montas has been lights out in three starts against the Astros, Rockies and Angels allowing just three earned runs and 10 hits in 16.0 frames. Frankie fanned 13 and walked five en route to a 1-1 record and an awesome 1.69 ERA. Also, in eight career appearances against the Halos (five starts), Montas has put together a 2-0 record with a 2.87 ERA.
Right-hander Dylan Bundy will counter for manager Joe Maddon’s bunch and he won’t be an easy out. With five starts in the bank this season, No. 37 has been cracked for nine earned runs and 19 hits in 32.7 frames. Bundy has struck out 38 and walked seven on his way to a 3-2 mark with a 2.48 ERA. So far this season, Dylan has faced the A’s twice (August 11th and July 25th) and limited Oakland to one earned run and seven hits in 13.2 innings. Bundy whiffed 17 and walked one en route to a 2-0 record and an elite 0.66 ERA.
Respect is given to Dylan’s pitching performances. However, the trends and angles provide the Halos with absolutely no support. Take a look: Oakland has grabbed wins in 31 of its last 42 when coming off a loss, 39 of its last 53 in its own backyard and 80 of its last 112 when priced as a home favorite. On the other side of park, Los Angeles has dropped 35 of its last 51 on the road, 28 of its last 40 against AL West foes and 22 of its last 27 coming off a victory.
With the Astros right on their division tail, the A’s know they afford to drop any more home games to a bottom-feeder like the Angels. Take Oakland with Montas. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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