- The Oakland A’s are road favorites over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday afternoon
- The favored Athletics roll out lefty Cole Irvin (7-9, 3.62), while the Halos counter with Jaime Barria (1-0, 6.23)
- The odds and pitching matchups can be found below with a prediction
The Oakland A’s (58-46 overall, 28-22 on the road entering Friday night) will try to keep pace with the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West race when they take on the Los Angeles Angels (51-51, 29-24 at home) at 4:05pm ET Saturday afternoon in the third of a four-game series at Angel Stadium.
Houston holds a 5.5-game lead over the A’s (again, as of Friday) in the division standings, while the Angels are 11.5 games behind in fourth place.
Oakland is a -120 favorite on the moneyline, but that number has moved closer and closer to being nearly even.
Athletics vs Angels Odds
|Oakland A’s||-120||-1.5 (+130)||Over 9.5 (-120)|
|Los Angeles Angels||+100||+1.5 (-150)||Under 9.5 (+100)|
Odds as of July 30th at DraftKings
Neither team has jumped out of the gate in the second half. The A’s are 6-6 (entering Friday), while the Angels are 6-7. Perhaps Oakland will be emboldened with the additions of Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes to its roster. The Nationals veterans were acquired in a deal right before the MLB trade deadline Friday, but it’s unclear if the former Washington players will be available Saturday in Southern California.
The game features a pair of starters who have not necessarily set the world on fire — but have had their moments in 2021. The A’s have Cole Irvin (7-9, 3.62) going, while the host Halos trot out Jaime Barria (1-0, 6.23).
Irvin vs Barria
Irvin was roughed up a bit in his last start, going only four innings while allowing five hits, four earned runs, one walk and striking out three in a 4-3 loss to the Mariners in Seattle.
But before that outing, the 27-year-old threw quality starts in three of his previous four outings. That includes an eight inning affair against the team with the best record in baseball (San Francisco) and a seven-inning game against the very same LA team he faces Saturday.
Irvin is 4-4 with a 3.33 ERA in nine road starts this season. In 10 day-game starts, he has a 2-5 mark with a 4.14 ERA.
Irvin was stellar in his previous start against the Angels on July 19, going seven scoreless innings, while scattering seven hits, allowing only one walk and striking out three.
Barria, meanwhile, was a revelation in his last start against the Twins. The 25-year-old went seven strong innings, allowing only four hits, two earned runs, walking two and striking out four in a 6-2 Halos win.
Prior to the game last Sunday, Barria had made only two relief appearances this season with mixed results. He was beat up April 10 against Toronto, surrendering six hits, seven earned runs, four walks and striking out no Blue Jays in only two innings of work. After that on May 18 against Cleveland, Barria fared much better, going four innings and allowing only one hit, one walk and striking out one.
Jack and Fletch
Angels third baseman Jack Mayfield has homered in four of his last 11 games after totaling two homers in his first 65 career games with three other teams. Over his last 11 games, Mayfield is batting .294 with seven runs scored, two doubles, four home runs and eight RBI.
As David Fletcher leads off today, here's something to watch over the next two months… pic.twitter.com/BeOBU2X1cH
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 25, 2021
Meanwhile ,second baseman David Fletcher is tied for second in the American League with 119 hits this season. He has multiple hits in 10 of his last 19 games. If the Halos are going to get to Irvin, one of these guys figures to be a factor.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Angels Batters||Batting Average vs Cole Irvin|
It’s been the A’s starting rotation that has kept them in the mix for a Wild Card spot in July, not their offense. That’s one of the big reasons why Oakland’s front office traded for Starling Marte earlier this week, along with Harrison and Gomes Friday.
The Oakland A’s top 5 players in BA:
1. Starling Marte – .305
2. Josh Harrison – .294
3. Matt Olson – .283
4. Yan Gomes – .271
5. Mark Canha – .260
There was a very obvious goal with these deadline acquisitions.
— Brandon (@ThatBabyIsGone) July 30, 2021
Don’t be surprised if Marte makes an impact Saturday at The Big A.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|A’s Batters||Batting Average vs Jaime Barria|
Clearly, none of the A’s have had much success against Barria. But with the fresh blood in this lineup — or on their way — manager Bob Melvin has to like his chances with Irvin on the bump.
A’s vs Angels Pick
While Shohei Ohtani has been worth the price of admission this season, I’m fading the Halos Saturday. Plus, this is Orange County native Irvin’s first career start in the ballpark he grew up nearby to.
Simply put, Irvin is better than Barria — and Oakland’s starter is the primary reason to go with the A’s in this spot.
The Pick: A’s (-120)