Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians June 9th Betting Preview
Thursday starts the first of a four-game series between the Oakland Athletics (20-38) and the Cleveland Guardians (26-26). The Guardians will host this one at Progressive Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Coming into this game, the Oakland A’s have lost eight straight games, including having been swept in three straight series. In Wednesday’s finale with the Atlanta Braves, they lost 13-2.
For the Guardians, they were able to secure a series win over the Rangers Wednesday with a 4-0 win. That is now three straight series that they have won. Cleveland's offense put together 12 hits. Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, Andres Gimenez, and Steven Kwan all had two apiece.
The Guardians are the favorites playing at home. They are -162 to win while the A’s moneyline sits at +136. The runline features Oakland +1.5 (-140), and the over/under for total runs is nine.
In the opener, the A’s will send righty James Kaprielian to the mound. This season, Kaprielian is 0-3 with a 6.06 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and has 22 strikeouts in 32.2 innings of work.
The Guardians will counter with lefty Konnor Pilkington. The young southpaw is currently 1-0 with a 2.65 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and has 23 strikeouts in 17 innings. In his last start, Pilkington picked up the win over the Royals, going five innings, allowing no runs on five hits while striking out eight.
By The Numbers
The Guardians hold the advantage offensively. They rank ninth in scoring averaging 4.59 runs per game. The A’s rank 29th averaging just 3.25 runs per game.
Defensively, it is again Cleveland with the advantage. They rank 12th in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 4.08 runs per game (3.71 at home). The A’s rank 20th as they are allowing 4.37 runs per game (3.56 on the road).
Oakland Trying To Save Face
After dismantling their team in the offseason, trading multiple pieces, including Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Sean Manaea, Oakland fans knew it was going to be a tough season. At 20-38, 16.5 games out of first in the AL West, they are just trying to maintain some semblance of respectability at this point.
The first thing that Oakland will try to do is just win a single game, something they haven’t done in their last eight contests. Over that span, they have been outscored 49 to 14.
In an offense that has largely struggled, Seth Brown and Sean Murphy have been their best hitters. Both lead the team with five home runs and 23 runs batted in, although neither is hitting higher than .207.
While this is the first time any A’s player will face off with Konnor Pilkington, Sean Murphy has the best splits against lefties, hitting .250/.393/.542 with three home runs.
Guardians Trying To Take Advantage Of Easy Schedule
The A’s will be the fifth team in a row that Cleveland has faced with a losing record. Having won three of those four series, they will try to add to their win column Thursday while also trying to move above .500 on the season.
Jose Ramirez continues to dominate for the Guardians. He is hitting .285/.388/.611 with 14 home runs, 54 runs batted in, 34 runs scored, and nine stolen bases. He leads the team in all four categories.
Andres Gimenez is also having a bit of a breakout year. In 145 at bats, he is hitting .310/.340/.545 with seven home runs, 30 runs batted in, 20 runs scored, and four stolen bases.
While some of the Guardians’ hitters have seen James Kaprielian in their careers, no one has a ton of success off of him. Only Myles Straw, Luke Maile, and Andres Gimenez have recorded a hit off of the righty.
Guardians Trying To Reverse Trend To Stay Hot
Despite the fact that Oakland has lost eight in a row coming into play, they have played well at Progressive Field in recent games. In fact, in their last eight games at Progressive Field, they are a perfect 8-0.
Granted, it was a far different A’s team last year than the one that Oakland currently boasts, but Cleveland will still try to reverse the trend and pick up a win in the opener.
While Konnor Pilkington is still finding his way in the majors, Cleveland’s offense should be able to capitalize on an inconsistent James Kaprielian.
If they can do that, and Pilkington can at least minimize the damage, Cleveland should have a good opportunity to extend Oakland’s losing streak to nine.
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