Game: Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics
Time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Odds: Tigers +138, Athletics -153
The Tigers come out of the All-Star break looking for their first win in five games. Oakland actually managed to take two games from AL West leader Houston just before the break. A’s starting pitcher Frankie Montas will make his first start since July 3 when he pitched just one inning against Seattle and left the game with a shoulder issue. Oakland held him out of his last two starts to protect not only his arm but his trade value. Montas has been the talk of many deals that could occur before the August 2 trade deadline.
Montas has pitched well this season. Through 96.2 innings, he has a 3.26 ERA. The problem for Montas is that he doesn’t get much help in the form of run support from an Oakland lineup that ranks 29th in runs per game (3.29). In each of Montas’ last four starts, the A’s have managed just one run. Of his 17 starts this season, the A’s have won just three. In 11 of the 16 losses, Oakland scored 0, 1, or 2 runs. The bottom line is that Montas cannot count on his lineup to help him.
Tonight in the second game of a doubleheader with the Tigers, Oakland hitters will go up against the young Garrett Hill. The Tigers have had some injuries to their pitching rotation which has allowed guys like Hill to be called up to start in the majors. Hill has started two games and is 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA. He has allowed seven earned runs in 11 innings. His strikeout rate of 9.1 percent is one of the lowest in MLB. Hill likes to mix several off-speed pitches to try and produce weak contact. It didn’t work last time out as he gave up six runs to the White Sox in an 8-0 loss.
In their four straight losses, Detroit has scored a total of seven runs. They were shut out twice and they continue to be the worst-scoring team in baseball. Detroit is dead last in runs per game (3.13). The Tigers are 15-31 SU in road games this season, but they are 24-22 ATS in those games.
Oakland has won four of its last ten games. The A’s have the worst home record in baseball with just 11 wins in 42 home games so far this season. Oakland is also just 12-30 ATS at home and the A’s have been shut out more than any other team in MLB this season.
With the two worst offenses in baseball, tonight’s total is just 7. While Detroit ranks last in several offensive categories, the A’s rank last in many of those same categories in home games. Roughly 58 percent of Oakland’s home games and 63 percent of the Tigers’ road games end up with the total going Under. Oakland’s last four games in a row have seen the total go Under.