Dodgers vs. Athletics Odds
|Time||3:37 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday evening and via BetAmerica|
The Oakland Athletics host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon in an interleague matchup. The Dodgers are heavily favored as they normally are. As the defending World Series champion, LA will almost always be favored to win, especially when they have 2020 NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer on the mound.
However, the Athletics have a competitive roster, and they are playing at home in front of fans. It might be a small number of fans, but the Oakland A’s are used to playing without fans as they averaged only 21,606 fans in 2019. With a promising young pitcher in Jesús Luzardo, I like the A’s +1.5 run line at only -110 odds.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Most of what is known about the Dodgers should not be news to any baseball fan. Last year, they scored 5.77 runs per game, which led the league. This season, my model projects the Dodgers to lead the league in runs again. LA is helped further by playing in Oakland on Wednesday, as the Dodgers will be able to take advantage of the DH spot from one of their talent bench players.
In addition to the lineup, the other strength they have is with their pitching, and the rich got richer during the offseason with the signing of Bauer. With the Cincinnati Reds last season, Bauer had a 5-4 record with a 1.71 ERA and 12.33 strikeouts per nine innings. However, Bauer also had a 2.50 xFIP, suggesting that even though he performed well, his sub-two ERA was partially due to luck.
I expect Bauer to perform well again this season, but to regress from the performance we saw during the shortened season. FanGraphs ZIPS projections have Bauer at a 3.45 ERA and Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections put him with a 3.94 DRA. The best reason to bet on Oakland is because of how overvalued Bauer is by the betting markets.
The Oakland A’s have found many ways to win despite having a small payroll. This year’s Oakland lineup is a combination of talented young players and seemingly past their prime veterans. The best players in their lineup are Ramón Laureano, Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Mark Canha. All four of those players are above-average offensively and can easily produce runs against Bauer and the Dodgers.
Other than their top players, the A’s lineup is rounded out with average players. The only question mark for the A’s lineup is how they will replace injured utility player Chad Pinder.
The wild card for Oakland is their starting pitcher, Jesús Luzardo. The 23-year-old Luzardo is a promising pitcher, but has yet to play a full season of baseball. Last year during his rookie season, Luzardo had a 3-2 record with a 4.12 ERA and a 3.88 xFIP. Most importantly Luzardo had a high strikeout rate, which will help him against the Dodgers if he gets himself into a jam. While Luzardo did not do well in his lone start this season, I expect him to be a decent pitcher this season who occasionally will have a big game.
The Athletics have a plausible chance of beating the Dodgers in Wednesday’s game. Bauer is due some regression and the A’s have a competitive roster.
While my model likes the Oakland +155 moneyline, my model likes their +1.5 (-110) run line even more. I see Wednesday’s game as a close one that Oakland either wins or narrowly loses.
Pick: Oakland A’s +1.5 Run-Line (-110); would play up to -115 or +165 A’s Moneyline if available.
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