Astros @ Athletics August 17 Free Play


Matt Chapman — a Fullerton kid.

On Thursday, June 14th, the Oakland A’s were swept at home by the Houston Astros and put Matt Chapman on the DL after the game for what would be nearly three weeks. The next night, Chapman’s replacement made an error and Tyler Skaggs pitched seven innings to sink Oakland two games under .500.

Then the A’s won on Saturday, won on Sunday, and won just about every series they have played since then. In fact, just twice they have not: when they split four with the White Sox the very next weekend and when they lost all three in Colorado the final weekend of July.

Someone betting a dollar on them in every game would have lost thirty-two cents in the Chicago series and three dollars exactly in Colorado because the Rockies were favorites in all three. Otherwise, that dollar bettor is making an absolute killing. The A’s are still being priced outside of Boston, New York, Cleveland, and even Houston money, though they’re winning a lot more, not because they are lucky but because they are better. The futures markets have wised up and cut them down to not much more than 10-1 for the World Series; the day-to-day markets are still clueless.

Oakland has to deal with Charlie Morton tonight, but it has Edwin Jackson. Two months ago, that sentence would have read facetiously. No more. Edwin Jackson has become more than dependable; he’s at home; his opponent is in the midst of a lengthy plateau; and the Oakland A’s flash the leather like none other. He also has what can be considered no less than the best bullpen in baseball at his back. The A’s should be a modest favorite, if I am to make a conservative assessment of their chances to win tonight.

But they aren’t. In fact, the A’s are available at +130 across the boards in Vegas and off-shore. I’m making that my biggest play, among two smaller ones: Oakland to win by either one or two runs at +350 and Oakland on the runline (+1.5) at -130. The latter is what I listed here because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m incentivized to list plays that win, rather than to list plays that make money.

Play: Oakland (+1.5) -130

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