MLB Baseball - Oakland Athletics at San Francisco Giants 10:00 PM ET
Interleague play returns for the next couple of weeks and one of the more familiar series is the battle of the Bay Area between Oakland and San Francisco.
Oakland took three of four against the best team in baseball, Boston, and scratched out a ninth inning hit to avoid being no-hit by Curt Schilling. The Athletics have won six of eight contests.
San Francisco avoided a sweep in the desert against Arizona, as knocked in the winning run in the 11th inning to give the Giants just their third win in eight games.
These teams met earlier and Oakland won that series two games to one at home and is 3-3 at AT&T Park over the last two seasons.
Tonightís pitching match-up in the opener is a pair of young studs who are both pitching extremely well for there respective team and racking up profits.
The Aís Chad Gaudin has a nasty slider and has generated +6.4 units of profit in his starts. His mound opponent is Tim Lincecum who turns 23-years old this next week, throws in the upper 90ís and has bested Houstonís great pitcher Roy Oswalt twice this season.
Why Aís win
Oakland's rotation has carried the team so far this season, and Gaudin has been a major reason why. Expected to pitch in the bullpen during the spring, Gaudin is 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA. He has posted a 1.44 ERA during his four start winning streak, and his overall ERA ranks second in the American League among qualifying starters.
Despite winning 6 of 8, the Aís offense is still non-effective scoring only 23 runs during this stretch. In fact they have scored three runs or less nine times in their last 18 games. Oakland remains on of the most proficient interleague teams with a 105-74 record over the last decade.
The Athletics are 33-16 against the money line after having won six or seven of their last eight games over the last two seasons. When Gaudin takes the mound at night Oakland is awfully tough to beat with 13-4 record against the ML in night games. (A's Record)
Why Giants win
Tim Lincecum will be making his first appearance in this always entertaining series. Lincecum is coming off the worst start of his brief career, allowing six runs and seven hits in 6.7 innings as San Francisco lost 9-8 to Philadelphia on Sunday.
The right-hander went 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his previous four starts. San Francisco is happy to return home after 4-6 road trip and have now gone four series without winning one. Barry Bonds returned to the line-up after missing the last two games and was 2-5.
He has just one homer in 66 at-bats since May 9, being stuck on 746. He has never had a problem solving Oakland pitching batting .331 (48-for-145) with 18 home runs and 32 RBIs in 49 games. The Giants are 14-13 at home and will face an Aís team that is only 13-18 when playing against a team with a losing record this season.
San Francisco is a -127 favorite, while the total is 7.5 at sportsbook.com
Top Totals Trends
Oakland is 22-6 UNDER when playing against a team with a losing record this season. San Francisco is 24-10 UNDER in home games after having lost five or six of their last seven games over the last three seasons.
This has all the makings of a real pitcherís battle as Gaudin has allowed just three twice in his 10 starts. As mentioned Lincecum is in position to bounce back from bad outing and will have the advantage of Oakland having never seen him pitch.
The Aís are 15-5 UNDER with a hot bullpen whose WHIP is under 1.200 the last 10 games this season. Play Under the total and consider Oakland as possible selection, since they are more comfortable in playing close low scoring games.
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