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Oakland Athletics Over 1.5 Runs (First 5 Innings) (+105)

The last place A’s are on the brink of delivering a sweep. That’s a sentence my iPad tagged with a squiggly red line, because it doesn’t sound like proper English. Nonetheless, call me crazy, but I like the home team against Toronto pitcher Jose Berrios today.

We trusted Berrios in an easy matchup at home last week. It was an epic fail, and I’ve been eager to fade him ever since. He arrives in Oakland ranking bottom 3% in several key performance indicators, including xERA, xBA, xwOBA and xSLG.

The Athletics offense isn’t the type of powerhouse I like to back, but they’ve been heating up (by Oakland standards). The team has now scored 3+ runs against 5 of the last 6 vs. Right-Handed Starting Pitchers (RHP) they faced. Two nights ago, they scored 5 runs (4 earned) off a much better RHP in Alek Manoah. If they shelled 2 home runs off him, imagine the possibilities against Berrios?

Also supporting the A’s scoring outlook today is a favorable weather forecast. Oakland Colliseum is pitcher friendly park, but that’s somewhat balanced by strong wind gusts projected to blow out to Center Field. According to, today’s weather boosts the chances of home runs and runs by 14.2% and 3.9%, respectively, relative to a neutral weather day at Oakland Coliseum. Those estimates are based on 198 games played in similar conditions since 2000.

For what it’s worth — I like Oakland ML with James Kaprielian on the hill today. He’s been bad but is trending up and coming off a strong start. Last time out, he allowed just 3 hits and 1 run in 6 innings vs. Seattle.

That said, I expect Toronto to arrive highly motivated to snap its 5 game losing streak. Their offense is struggling but remains potent and could explode at any moment.

For that reason, I feel the best bet to make is one that isolates the A’s matchup vs. the struggling Jose Berrios in the First Five (F5) Innings. He’s allowed 2+ F5 runs in 6 of his last 7 starts. And you’re telling me we can bet him to do it again at plus money odds?! Take my money.

If your book doesn’t offer F5 Team Totals, the full game total over 3.5 is a fine pivot at plus money odds today, too.