San Francisco Giants at Oakland Athletics – 7/31/17 MLB Preview and Pick

BetAnySports Moneyline: Oakland Athletics -137 / San Francisco Giants +127

BetAnySports Total Line: 9.5

There is no question that the Oakland Athletics are going to be at home watching post-season action. The real questions surrounding them involve whether they are going to trade pitcher Sonny Gray, and as the deadline approaches, they have to prepare for Monday game against the San Francisco Giants, which begins at 10:10 PM ET at the Coliseum. BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to place wagers on this game even after the first pitch, as they take advantage of what is available through Live Betting Ultra.

After a choppy start out of the gate, Gray has an ERA of 1.37 over his last six outings. So he has gone from being a risky proposition for any prospective suitor (which he still is, from a health standpoint) to, potentially, an invaluable piece of the puzzle for a World Series contender.

Some of them have lined up, and this includes the New York Yankees, who are, it appears, going right down to the wire as far as their offer is concerned. It was reported on Sunday night that they were at a bit of an impasse, and you know, at some point the pressure shifts over to the A’s, because there may be no better time for Oakland to deal him than right now.

On Sunday, they sat Gray down for a scheduled start against the Minnesota Twins, in favor of Jharel Cotton. But by game time on Monday, he will either be in an Oakland uniform or won’t be. There won’t be any “gray” area left.

In the event he is not in an Oakland uniform anymore, which seems a bigger and bigger possibility, the A’s will go with Paul Blackburn, who has pitched well in five starts as a rookie. The Giants will counter with Matt Cain, who has had his problems, to say the least, on the road. In the MLB odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Blackburn is listed as the starter and the favorite:

Oakland Athletics  (Blackburn)  -137

San Francisco Giants (Cain)  +127

Giants +1.5 Runs  (-160)

A’s -1.5 Runs  (+140)

Over 9.5 Runs  -115

Under 9.5 Runs  -105

In Blackburn’s five outings, he has pitched a couple of gems. His big league debut, coming against Atlanta on July 1, resulted in six solid innings in which he gave up only three hits. Last time out against the Toronto Blue Jays, he went seven innings and allowed only two base hits. He has sufficient rest for this one, so he’ll be ready to go as needed. Blackburn, a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2012, made the Pacific Coast League All-Star team in his first season in Triple-A, with a 3.05 earned run average, when he got the call to go to the big club. So far, his ERA is 2.25, with a shiny 1.06 WHIP ratio.

Cain has given up only one home run in his last five starts against Oakland, encompassing 35 innings of work. But he’s only made one start against the Athletics since 2012, and considering the freefall his career has taken, this past history really doesn’t mean a whole lot. On the road he is 0-6 with a 8.14 ERA, so it was a deliberate decision on the part of manager Bruce Bochy to keep him out of last night’s start at Dodger Stadium. Madison Bumgarner gave the Giants some brilliant work, holding the Dodgers scoreless over seven innings, but relief pitcher Albert Suarez blew a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 11th.

Oakland already has a pitcher’s park, and Blackburn, with a very capable sinker ball, can mitigate any power the Giants have. Even though he is a rookie going up against the veteran, we’ll lay the price with him and the Athletics, who are 29-24 at home.

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