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Struggling Athletics Prime Target for Second Place Indians

Posted by Jeff Rudzinski on 8/18/2013 8:26:26 PM

The Oakland Athletics were leading the AL West race not too long ago. They then started to fall back and saw the Texas Rangers pass them up putting the Athletics in contention with a few AL East teams for the two Wild Card spots. This is frightening territory for the Athletics as a Wild Card berth guarantees you just a play in game now instead of the standard seven game playoff series. The Athletics have time to recover, but they better start soon as the Rangers are going all in to win this year.

Cleveland Indians @ Oakland Athletics
Saturday August 16, 2013 – 9:05 PM ET
The Coliseum, Oakland, CA

While the Athletics are looking to fight their way back to the top, the Cleveland Indians are looking to catch the Detroit Tigers who are just 6.5 games ahead of them in the AL Central standings. The Tigers have held the division lead the whole season but the Indians have gotten hot as of late and are starting to become serious contenders for not only the Wild Card but the division as well. The Indians had a needed come from behind win against the Twins in their last game and with this Athletics series starting after an off day the Indians should come ready to play meaning sports gamblers better be watching.

MLB Betting Preview: Oakland Athletics

The Athletics will be sending the young but improving Dan Straily to the mound to face the Indians this Saturday.Straily has a 4.19 ERA on the season but a 3.74 mark in his last ten starts showing he is in fact improving in his first full season in the major leagues.Straily will be backed up by a patient Athletics offense, which has the second most walks in the league and the 10th most runs scored. Sports books have noticed the stars for the Athletics last season have become the duds for them this year. Josh Reddick who pounded 32 home runs last season has just ten so far this year to go with his disappointing .215 batting average. While the offense for the Athletics has struggled this year, they stay patient and find ways to score even if they aren’t hitting.

MLB Betting Preview: Cleveland Indians

On the mound for the Indians in this game will be Ubaldo Jimenez, who like Straily, has been improving as of late. Ubaldo may finally be approaching the standard the Indians had when they acquired him as his 3.27 ERA in his past ten outings is a stat of a strong pitcher.Ubaldo however has struggled staying in games late as many of his outings end in the fifth inning, which will be something to watch for in this game. Aside from one shutout the Indians have done a good job scoring runs as of late and their lineup, which hits for average as well power, is to thank for that.

MLB Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The pitching match-up in this game appears to be a wash as two improving pitchers will be facing each other late Saturday night. The offense portion of the game however seems to favor the Indians as they have numerous players hitting for average and power and when they get hot they all tend to hit the ball hard. For that reason the Indians are my sports betting pick for this game as their offense has been outshining that of the Athletics.

MLB Pick: Indians

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