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Guardians vs. Athletics, 9:40 ET
There was a game that I wrote about yesterday that I feel is very similar to this one. Yesterday’s game was the matchup between the Rays and the Nationals. I figured it was going to be tough for the Nationals to score on a tough Tampa pitching staff. This game probably will play out the same way that the Tampa vs. Washington game played out.
The Guardians have started this season very hot. Right out of the gate they have reeled off four victories to just one loss and have won four straight. Their past two wins have come in back-to-back extra-inning games. They’ve scored a lot more runs in the opening weeks than I thought I would get from Cleveland. This is a team that I expect to be built around their pitching, but if their offense can be this good, they will be one of the best teams in baseball. They are giving the ball to their ace, Shane Bieber, He was very good in the opener, but not good enough to get a win or anything. He went six innings, allowed six hits, and didn’t allow a run. The A’s are just 7-for-22 against Bieber in their experiences, but that has resulted in just one RBI for them as a group. He faced Oakland once last year and the Guardians won the game 3-1 with Bieber going seven innings and allowing just one run, a home run.
Oakland is going to struggle to put together any progress this year. After winning their Opening Day contest, they lost their last three games. In their last three games, they’ve allowed 31 runs to opponents. That’s not a typo, they are allowing an average of 10 runs per game to opponents over the past three matches. Opponents are batting almost .300 against Oakland pitching. JP Sears is going to take the mound for the Athletics today. He had a decent enough season last year between the bullpen and starting. He had 11 starts on the year and was better as a reliever, but he wasn’t terrible as a starter. He did have 2.2 innings against the Guardians in relief last season and allowed just one earned run on three hits. There isn’t much to speak of in terms of experience against the Guardians.
So basically what this boils down to is Shane Bieber, one of the best pitchers in baseball, faces one of the worst teams in baseball. The Guardians get to face a guy who probably will struggle the second time through the order. I’m taking the Guardians -0.5 through five innings at -130. I really do hate the juice here, but think it is worth it once again. Backing Bieber to record a win at -105 is another play I’ll put on this game.
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