Pitching Match-up: Sean Manaea (OAK) vs Kyle Gibson (TEX)
Betting Spread: OAK -170. Total 8
We have an intriguing match-up here between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers. Sean Manaea takes the hill after a few rough starts, but both were not near as bad they appeared on the surface. He showed a bit of bad luck in those starts with his most recent start against Seattle sporting a .400 BABIP which is egregiously high. Needless to say, if he sustains this pitching, progressing to the mean is imminent. You constantly hear about how athletes will regress to a mean, but the latter isn’t mentioned near as frequent. Progressing to a mean happens just as often and I think we’ll have this with Manaea over his next few starts. It also helps that he draws one of the worst offenses in baseball.
The Rangers are 2nd worst in MLB in batting average, 5th worst in runs scored and rank in the bottom 10 in nearly every single hitting category. This is a team that’s scored more than three runs in a game only twice in nine games. Now draws a good lefty in Manaea to counter act the few good bats this team has. The only real threat from from the right side is Andrus, as this team does have some potent bats from the left side. Choo, Gallo, Odor can all be neutralized here and they may even platoon 2/3 of them again like they did yesterday. When platooning against a lefty, this Rangers lineup may be one of the worst in all of baseball. So, we have an above average arm in Manaea who’s been a bit unlucky to start the year, going against a lineup that struggles against lefties and is off to a very cold start hitting as a team. Let’s now touch on Kyle Gibson and the Athletics.
Kyle Gibson has been one of those guys over the past few years that just finds way to get outs. Nothing sexy about his stuff and often finds himself in jams, but also wiggles out of them many times. Gibson’s ERA has had it’s high and lows throughout his career, but he’s certainly been serviceable, especially in 2018 for the Twins. He’s primarily a three pitch guy with the occasional curve sprinkled in, but he is certainly looking for ground balls with his slider. He’s now with the Rangers and has one start under his belt. Despite giving up no earned runs, he was quite shaky in his first start, but an early Texas error causing all three runs to score didn’t help. He did settle in nicely afterwards though.
Gibson now draws the Athletics who have had their own list of issues to start the season, but finally appear to be catching their stride. Oakland sits at 7-4 right now, but with how their schedule started, they should be a few wins better. There’s certainly worse things than starting 7-4 through 11 games though. What’s been the biggest head scratcher with Oakland has been their cold bats. This team is quite potent up and down the lineup just filled with powerful right handed bats, but as a team haven’t quite put it together. A walk-off homer last night might be the mojo they need, but it was another game where it felt like they were sleeping walking throughout. Despite being 7-4, this Oakland team has the 5th worst batting average in MLB. They do rank higher in some of the power categories, but despite this are still 5th worst in OPS. They’ve won four straight, but it has really been with their arms surrendering no more than two runs in four straight games. Gibson should be able to keep this Oakland team off balance as many pitchers have thus far to start 2020.
I look at this game and my favorite spot to target is the F5 UNDER. Seeing 4.5 -121 at DraftKings in NJ, and I’ll go ahead and lock this in. I’m getting two respectable arms, going against two cold teams, in a pitcher’s park. Both sides do have plenty of power bats and home runs could always be a worry, but I just don’t think these team can get over this number without multiple long balls. Both teams have struggled to find consistency at the dish and all things considered this is a big number for a F5. I’ll be on the under here for a full unit.
Oakland vs Texas F5 UNDER 4.5 -121