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Thursday MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Sept. 24)

Thursday MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Sept. 24) article feature image

Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Mookie Betts (50).

  • The LA Dodgers and Oakland A's meet on Thursday night in a premier west coast MLB matchup between elite clubs from each league.
  • The Dodgers offense has been fantastic all season, while Oakland's probable starting pitcher Mike Fiers is in the midst of a career-worst year.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup and argues that LA's run line odds are simply too low against Fiers on Thursday night.

Athletics vs. Dodgers Odds

Athletics Odds +190 [Bet Now]
Dodgers Odds -230 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (-115/-106) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 9:40 p.m. ET

Odds as of Thursday at 7:45 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers have locked up their spots in the MLB postseason. LA has clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the National League, while Oakland is playing to earn better seeding in the American League.

The A’s need some help if they want to secure the No. 1 seed in the AL, as they trail the Tampa Bay Rays by 3.5 games. Moreover, Oakland is also clinging on to a tiny half-game lead over Minnesota for the No. 2 spot. So, every game is crucial for Oakland down the stretch.

Check out our free MLB odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.

Oakland Athletics

Despite their fantastic record, the A’s have been below average offensively: They have the 16th-best wOBA (.314) and 15th-best wRC+(101) in MLB. Oakland’s below-average offense has been in a big-time slump over the past week. Over their last six games, the A’s have hit for a measly .179 average and a .254 wOBA. Oakland really misses star third baseman Matt Chapman in the batting order, and it has not been able to replace his previous production.

A’s Probable Starter

Mike Fiers, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Fiers has really fallen off a cliff in 2020. He’s posted the worst xFIP of his career at 5.55, which is also the highest xFIP among all qualified starting pitchers in baseball. All of his pitches except for his fastball and curveball have been hit around the yard — especially his slider and changeup.

He’s lost any velocity he once had and is barely averaging over 90 mph on those two pitches. Now, Fiers has to face perhaps the best offense in baseball, which also happens to crush right-handed pitching.

It could be a long night — but a short outing — for Fiers on Thursday.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers lineup has been on fire over the past two weeks, bombing 21 home runs over that short stretch of games. Los Angeles has done most of its damage against right-handed pitching, reporting a .358 wOBA and an MLB second-best 128 wRC+ against righties.

Mookie Betts and Corey Seager have formed one of the best hitting duos in baseball and have been crushing right-handed pitching. Both Betts and Seager boast a wOBA exceeding .415.

Put simply, Los Angeles should have no trouble hitting Mike Fiers all around the yard.

Dodgers Probable Starter

Walker Buehler, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Walker Buehler has a full arsenal of nasty stuff. His fastball can top out at around 100 mph, and he knows how to use effectively. Buehler’s heater has produced a 25.6% whiff rate and 19 strikeouts in only 32.2 Innings of work.

Buehler also has a nasty cutter that has limited hitters to a .273 wOBA and produced a 35.3% whiff rate. His Achilles’ heel has been the long ball, as his HR/9 rate is all the way up at 1.91.

The A’s have been struggling over the past week, so Buehler could make good use of this bounce-back spot on Thursday night.


This series will feature two of the league’s best bullpens. Both rank in the top five relief-pitching groups in terms of xFIP, and each bullpen has been the main reason for its team’s success. As you can see from the table above, the bullpen matchup is pretty much a wash.

Projections and Pick

Check out our new MLB PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.

The starting pitching and offensive matchup gives the Dodgers a big advantage on Thursday. Since I have the Dodgers projected margin of victory at 1.83, I think there is value on the Dodgers run line of -1.5 at +104 odds (DraftKings).

Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (+104). Play up to -103.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

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