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Oakland Athletics Betting Tips – American League Preview: Oakland Athletics

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 2/24/2013 6:04:34 PM

It has to be said that sport betting odds were shattered last season by the Oakland A's. Perhaps more than any other team in 2012, the Oakland A’s turned into one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball. A lineup that had very little name recognition with a young and talented but (at the time) unproven pitching staff, the A’s winning the A.L. West over the Texas Rangers went right to the top of the list of shocking developments in the sport. In 2013, what encore performance do the Athletics have in store, and is another postseason run potentially in the cards?

When football betting is involved, power is the name of the game, but in baseball, pitching is the gateway to success. If you care for online casino games, you know that the primacy and centrality of the dealer is unmistakable, and the A's had the dealers in 2012 who were able to carry them into October.

The key to the Athletics, as has been the case nearly every time the team has contended since Billy Beane took the job as general manager with the club, will be the pitching staff. Among Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, and Tommy Milone, Oakland has a relatively solid top three that it can put on the hill. It can hope for 13 to 15 wins minimum from each pitcher. Last year the Athletics were second in the American League in earned run average as a staff, and the team will need a similar year with a lineup that doesn’t pack a big punch.

If there’s one area in which the Athletics' pitching staff can improve, it is in the strikeout department. Oakland finished with the third fewest strikeouts as a staff a year ago, a big reason why the team had one of the highest error totals in the American League.

The offense needs to carry more weight than it did a year ago, and that burden falls on the second-tier guys. Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick were the two big bats a year ago and will likely be counted on again to carry a big workload for this group. The Athletics struck out more than any team a year ago and had the second lowest batting average in the A.L., each a sign of a team that may struggle to duplicate its win total if those totals don’t improve in 2013.

The Athletics did go out and get Jed Lowrie in the offseason, not a power bat by any stretch, but a productive player who gives the lineup more depth. Guys like Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss will play pivotal roles in increasing the sense of what this group is capable of.

As has been the case for a while now, the Rangers and Angels present two formidable challenges to the Athletics' hopes of repeating as division champions. Each team has a deep lineup with top-of-the-line starters that Oakland will have to face numerous times throughout the season. How Oakland fares in these games will be the biggest indicator of its potential success. Last season the A’s went 33-24 in division games, three games better than anyone else, which ultimately proved pivotal in a division Oakland won by one game.

While it may seem pessimistic to think Oakland can’t replicate its success, the Athletics’ talent across the roster isn’t up to par with the two challengers in its division. Over the course of 162 games it is hard to see them overcoming that again. If Oakland wants a return trip to the postseason, the pitching staff will have to be stellar again and compensate for a lineup that likely won’t put up many crooked numbers.

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