The Oakland Athletics try to extend their four-game winning streak when they take on the Los Angeles Angels in the last of a three-game series between AL West rivals on Sunday. The first pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium.
The Athletics are 81-67 and in second place in the AL West, trailing the first-place Houston Astros by six games and leading the third-place Seattle Mariners by two games. Oakland is also two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild-Card spot in the American League.
Los Angeles fell to 72-76. The Angels are in fourth place in the AL West, trailing the third-place Mariners by seven games.
MLB lines have the Athletics with a moneyline of -126, while the Angels are listed at +116, with the over/under set at 8½ runs.
The Athletics are doing their best to get back into the playoff field after a bit of a slump dropped them out of it. Four straight wins have certainly helped, but the fact that Oakland only has Houston and Seattle left on its schedule after Sunday shows it has its work cut out for it.
Saturday’s win was a tight one that was only secured when second baseman Josh Harrison made a leaping sno-cone catch with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth.
“As soon as we got hit, I knew it was going to be close,” Oakland catcher Sean Murphy said after Saturday’s win. “I think everybody on the field tightened up for a second (and) waited (to) see what happened.”
Right-hander Frankie Montas looks to keep the Oakland roll going. Montas is 12-9 with a 3.72 ERA, striking out a career-high 185.
Montas has made three starts against the Angels this season, going 2-1 with a 0.92 ERA. He’s gone 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA in three September starts, though he’s coming off a no-decision against Kansas City on Tuesday in which he lasted just 3⅓ innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, including a home run.
First baseman Matt Olson had a solo home run in Saturday’s win, his fourth in the last seven games. Olson is batting .322 with two doubles, six home runs, and 14 RBIs in 59 at-bats against the Angels this season.
The leading candidate for AL MVP, Shohei Ohtani, will show off his pitching skills. Ohtani is 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA, though there was some doubt if he would pitch again this season as his arm had been sore recently.
Ohtani has started against Oakland twice this season, going 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA over 12 innings. His last appearance on the mound came Sept. 10 in a start against Houston, as he went 3 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on nine hits in taking the loss.
At the plate, Ohtani continues to be one of the most dangerous batters in the sport, though his dual role may be wearing him down. He’s batting .220 in September, hitting two home runs and driving in four runs.
Ohtani had the only two hits that the top four players in the Los Angeles lineup had on Saturday night. Third baseman David Fletcher is batting .344 against Oakland this season, hitting four doubles and driving in seven runs, so his production will be needed if the Angels are going to avoid the sweep.
Oakland Keeps Winning
Although Ohtani has been good on the mound, he seems to be wearing down, and how long he’ll last in Sunday’s game is anyone’s guess. The Athletics know they need to get a win in this one to help them as they head into a difficult final two weeks of the season, and they’ll get it to complete the sweep of their division rival.
When doing your MLB betting, take Oakland to win on the road.