Opening Day concludes with a matchup between two AL West title hopefuls, as the Los Angeles Angels hit the road for a meeting with the Oakland Athletics. The Angels will send southpaw Andrew Heaney to the mound against the right-hander Frankie Montas from the A’s.
Last season, Oakland dominated the season series over LA by the tally of 13-6. Going into this season, the A’s unusually high expectations. Matt Olson and Matt Chapman both slugged 36 homers apiece last season, giving them the opposition’s full attention going forward. This may not be the sexiest lineup on paper, but it’s one that gets the job done.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the A’s have +230 odds to win the AL West (second in the division, behind the Astros at -155), +1200 to win the American League, and +2500 odds to win the World Series.
Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
RingCentral Stadium – Oakland, CA – 10:00 p.m. EST (ESPN)
LAA: Andrew Heaney – L (4-6, 4.91 ERA/1.29 WHIP last season)
OAK: Frankie Montas – R (9-2, 2.63 ERA/1.11 WHIP last season)
Odds & Betting Lines (According to DraftKings Sportsbook)
Total: 8.5 | Over: -114 | Under: -107
LAA | Moneyline: +130 | Run Line (+1.5): -165
OAK | Moneyline: -148 | Run Line (-1.5): +138
LAA: Anthony Rendon (O), Luis Rengifo (IL)
OAK: A.J. Puk (IL)
Anthony Rendon Out
The Angels’ prized offseason acquisition will not be in the lineup due to an oblique injury. Rendon is coming off a career-best season with a .319 batting average and 34 homers.
Another Mike Trout MVP?
Everyone was looking to get a look at the new retooled Angels, but that’ll have to wait a couple of days. Instead, we can all feast our eyes on the favorite to win AL MVP, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Andrew Heaney Strikeouts vs. A’s Contact Hitting
The LA southpaw has some nasty stuff on the mound, and he intends to use it. However, that elite stuff will be met with some pesky contact hitting. In fact, Oakland had the second-lowest K-rate (19.2%) against left-handed pitching last season – and the lineup didn’t change much.
Frankie Montas Returns from Suspension
Montas was given an 80-game suspension last season for PED use. Prior to the suspension, Montas was rolling along nicely but you do have to wonder how much of that was because of the enhancements.
Athletics Moneyline (-148)
We like the A’s to continue their recent run of dominance over the Angels, mainly because of the bullpen. This is a game that could very well start off scoring slow, given the history of success in the BvP matchups for each starter. Oakland is going places this season, and tonight is the beginning of their run.
Under 4.5 Runs – First 5 Innings (-109)
As I mentioned, both starting pitchers have a good history of success against the batters they should be facing tonight. Both of these guys tend to throw their hearts out early and let the bullpen handle the rest. I’m banking on that same type of delivery tonight, and the A’s can get their runs later to satisfy us late.