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Athletics vs. Orioles MLB Odds & Picks: Does Oakland Have Value Going for 12th Straight Win? (Friday, April 23)

Athletics vs. Orioles MLB Odds & Picks: Does Oakland Have Value Going for 12th Straight Win? (Friday, April 23) article feature image

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Olson (left) and Matt Chapman.

  • Oakland looks to make it a dozen straight wins on Friday night against the Orioles.
  • The A's pitching has thrived during their 11-game win streak, while Baltimore's bats ... have not of late.
  • Matthew Trebby breaks down how to back Oakland at Camden Yards.

Athletics vs. Orioles Odds

Athletics Odds -130
Orioles Odds +110
Over/Under 9.5
Time Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet

If you’ve seen “Moneyball,” you’ll know the Oakland Athletics aren’t unfamiliar with long winning streaks. This year’s A’s club is quite different from the pitching-dominated 2002 team, but it has won 11 straight games and has a great opportunity to extend that run against the lowly Baltimore Orioles this weekend.

Oddsmakers are giving the 8-10 O’s a lot of credit entering Friday night’s opener. They opened at +110 with the A’s at -130.

Let’s break down which side has value on this one:

Oakland Athletics

The Athletics have allowed 18 runs over their last six games (two were of the seven-inning variety during a double-header on Tuesday against the Twins). Twelve of those 18 runs came on Wednesday in a 13-12, 10-inning win over Minnesota. It was the first time in a while that Oakland’s pitching had let it down.

Since giving up four runs on April 15 against the Tigers, Oakland has posted a 2.12 ERA, which entered play on Thursday ranked second in MLB. A’s pitchers have walked just eight batters over their last 51 innings, and opponents are hitting just .211.

Offensively, the A’s are getting great seasons from Matt Olson, Mark Canha and Jed Lowrie, while Matt Chapman and Ramon Laureano wait until their bats get hot.

Olson’s power has been on display early and often this season. He entered play on Thursday tied for second in MLB in home runs with six, and his 1.078 OPS was 10th among qualified hitters.

Wednesday’s starter Frankie Montas has been the weak link in Oakland’s rotation this season, while Friday’s starter Cole Irvin has been perfectly serviceable. The southpaw has a 4.60 ERA and 4.30 FIP over his first 15 2/3 innings in 2021.

Irvin is coming off his best start of the season, tossing six scoreless innings of four-hit ball last Saturday against the Tigers. You might think, “Well, the Tigers’ offense is pretty pathetic,” but let me introduce you to the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles’ .639 OPS this season ranked 29th in MLB entering play on Thursday, above only the New York Yankees (what?). Baltimore is hitting .218 as a team and is sixth in MLB with 180 strikeouts through 18 games. Baltimore’s OPS goes all the way up to .686 against lefties this season, though!

The Orioles have two regulars with an OPS over .710: shortstop Freddy Galvis and center fielder Cedric Mullins.

It’s going to be another long season for O’s faithful.

Baltimore’s pitching has shown some reason for optimism this season with a 4.16 ERA so far. That ranked 14th in MLB entering play on Thursday.

Friday starter Jorge López is not a reason for that early success.

López has an 8.56 ERA through three starts, spanning 13 2/3 innings, this season. His 6.67 FIP indicates it can’t get much worse than that, though.

The right-hander has a career ERA of 6.17 and is being paid to be a professional innings eater this season for an Orioles team that has little in terms of optimism for their rotation. John Means has a 1.52 ERA but is already 28 years old. Even Matt Harvey is getting plenty of looks this season.

Athletics-Orioles Pick

I don’t have a huge amount of faith in Irvin, but I believe in him more than López. I sure trust the A’s lineup more to hit around the Baltimore right-hander than I do the Orioles’ pathetic lineup to get to Irvin and an impressive Oakland relief corps.

We’re not going to overthink this one and are going take the -130 line. I’d play it up to -140, at which point the run line will be the play. The run line gives good value, since only three of the A’s first 11 wins of this streak were by one run.

Maybe Means can stop the A’s lineup, but he’s the only Orioles starter I’d even start to consider backing against a red-hot club like Oakland.

Pick: Athletics -130 (up to -140)

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