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Athletics vs. Tigers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Surging Paul Blackburn Gives Oakland Value (May 9)

Athletics vs. Tigers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Surging Paul Blackburn Gives Oakland Value (May 9) article feature image

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Paul Blackburn

  • The Tigers open a series on Monday night against Oakland as a slight favorite.
  • The A's Paul Blackburn starts opposite Michael Pineda in the series opener.
  • Nick Shlain breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Athletics vs. Tigers Odds

Athletics Odds +105
Tigers Odds -130
Over/Under 7 (-110 / -110)
Time 7:10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Detroit Tigers have struggled mightily to start the season as they enter play Monday with the worst record in the American League at 8-19.

The Tigers just finished a road trip that included matchups against the Astros and Dodgers, and now get a little relief against the struggling Oakland Athletics. They haven’t been much better this year at 10-18.

The Tigers are at home, but should they really be favored here?

A’s Can Get to Pineda 

Tigers starter Michael Pineda has a 3.77 ERA this year, but his xFIP is 5.06. Pineda’s strikeout numbers are down this season, especially against left-handed hitters. His K% this year is 14% compared to 19% last year. Against left-handed hitters this year, his K% is 11%.

Oakland might only have Seth Brown (.267 ISO against right-handed pitchers since the start of last year) as legitimate power from the left side if second baseman Jed Lowrie is unable to play again after missing Sunday’s game with a bad back.

Still, Pineda failed to complete five innings against the Pirates in his last start and allowed three home runs in the start before that. Even a bottom tier offense like Oakland should score some runs here.

Tigers Offense Can’t Find Anything

The Tigers offense is tied for last in runs scored in all of baseball entering play Monday and Tigers hitters are 14th in all of baseball in strikeouts, which is not a good combination.

This isn’t a good matchup for the Tigers against Oakland’s Paul Blackburn, either. This year, Blackburn has been a revelation in Oakland with a 2.99 xFIP, 25% K% and 3% BB%. I like his chances against the Tigers offense.

Robbie Grossman, Austin Meadows, Jeimer Candelario, and Akil Baddoo all had ISOs above .175 against right-handed pitching last year and this year each of their ISOs are below .103 against right-handed pitching.

I don’t see them finding their power stroke against Blackburn here, leaving star shortstop Javier Baez as the main obstacle in the lineup.

Athletics-Tigers Pick

I like this matchup for Oakland, especially early in the game where they have a clear starting pitching advantage. The Tigers have the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball and they’re at home, so we can avoid the endgame altogether and still take Oakland to win the first five innings.

As of Monday morning, it’s -105 at DraftKings, but +104 at Unibet and Barstool.

Pick: Athletics F5 ML (-105 or better)

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