MLB Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions: Diamondbacks vs. Athletics (Wednesday, Aug. 19)

Credit:

Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks vs. Athletics Odds

Diamondbacks Odds +155 [Bet Now]
Athletics Odds -180 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (+102/-124) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 9:30 p.m. ET

Odds as of Wednesday at 8 a.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 Arizona Diamondbacks will look to maintain their hot streak when they face the Oakland Athletics Wednesday and win their seventh game in a row. The D-backs have played themselves back into playoff contention after a horrific start to the season.

The Athletics’ lead in the American League West is now starting to look a little vulnerable as the Astros have climbed to within 2.5 games of first place. With a loss on Wednesday, their big lead to begin the season could all be gone.

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. 

Diamondbacks

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

The Diamondbacks have been on fire offensively over the past two weeks. They have the third-best wOBA (.357) and fourth-best wRC+ (125) in MLB over that span. David Peralta and Kole Calhoun have both been of fire, combining for seven home runs and 28 RBIs in their last 13 games.

The Diamondbacks have struggled versus left handed pitching so far this season (.280 wOBA), so they’ll have a big task ahead of them as Jesus Luzardo is one of the best young lefties in the game.

Diamondbacks Projected Starter

Merrill Kelly, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Merrill Kelly came over to the Diamondbacks after spending four years in Korea. He didn’t have a great first season in the majors, posting a 4.58 xFIP. However, he’s been much better to start 2020 as he’s allowed just five earned runs in 26.1 innings of work.

Kelly has a five-pitch arsenal, but he mainly utilizes his fastball and curveball. His fastball has average velocity, but he’s been much better with his location this season and opposing hitters have not been able to touch it up (.158 BA against). His curveball and sinker have been highly effective as well so far this season, allowing nine hits on 142 pitches.

Kelly will have his hands full on Wednesday, as the A’s rank top five against both fastballs and curveballs.

Athletics

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

The A’s have been steady offensively all season long, ranking 10th in MLB in terms of wOBA (.326). But, they’ve been on fire over the past week, accumulating a .363 wOBA and averaging nearly seven runs per game.

They’ve done most of their damage this season against fastballs (13.2 wFB) and curveballs (3.4 wCB) this season as they rank in the top five of MLB against both, so they’ll have a good matchup against Kelly on Wednesday.

A’s Projected Starter

Jesus Luzardo, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Luzardo is Oakland’s top prospect and has some electric stuff. He brings 97 MPH cheese from the left side, followed up by a sick curveball and a decent changeup. However, Luzardo has been a little erratic at times this season. In 20.2 innings pitched he’s allowed 22 hits and nine walks, which has pushed his WHIP all the way up to 1.50.

None of the pitches in his arsenal have been very effective so far this season, as all of them are allowing a wOBA over .300. The Diamondbacks offense has been red-hot, so Luzardo will have to be on his game on Wednesday night.

Bullpens

The Diamondbacks were not projected to have a very good bullpen to begin the season and they’ve proven those projections correct. As a group they have a 4.66 xFIP, which ranks 21st in MLB.

The A’s currently have one of the best bullpens in the AL. They rank sixth in MLB, with a 3.93 xFIP, so they’ll have the advantage on Wednesday.

Projections

At the time of writing, I don’t see any value on either side or the total based on my projections. Ideally, I would jump in on the A’s at -142 or better.

Conversely, if I could find the Diamondbacks at +178 or better, I would pivot to Arizona’s side. If odds or the total shifts, you can follow me on the Action Network app to see if I end up making a play on this game.

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