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A’s, O’s Begin 3-Game Set In Oakland

Jeff Samardzija and the Oakland Athletics come back from the All-Star break to face the Baltimore Orioles.

Jeff Samardzija and the Oakland Athletics head back from the All-Star break to face the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game series at O.Co Coliseum.

With the four-day All-Star break done and dusted, baseball resumes Friday.

Out west, one matchup this weekend really catches the eye as the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics host the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles.

First pitch at O.co Coliseum is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET.

20140717_AL_WestOakland (59-36, 30-15 home) entered the break with a franchise-high 59 wins, and the best record in baseball.

Bob Melvin’s club lost three of its last five before the league-wide pause, enough to let the Los Angeles Angels to climb within two games of the A’s in the win column in the AL West. Those losses came on the road though, and at home the A’s are a daunting prospect.

Oakland has won 11 of its last 12 home games, and has gone 16-3 over its last 19 at O.co Coliseum. Only the Angels (32-15) have a better record at home.

Melvin and his All-Star laden team will look to continue this home dominance when they host the Orioles this weekend.

20140717_AL_EastBaltimore (52-42, 26-19 road) also had plenty to smile about heading into the break.

Winners of 10 of their last 13, the Orioles leapfrogged the Toronto Blue Jays into first place in the AL East, building a four-game lead in the process. For the first time since 1997 – a season in which the club led the division wire-to-wire – Buck Showalter’s side was in pole position at the break.

Much of Baltimore’s recent success has come on the road. Only three teams in the American League have a better road record than the O’s; the Detroit Tigers (28-16), Seattle Mariners (27-18), and Oakland (29-21).

The Orioles have gone 11-4 away from Camden Yards since May 31, and ride a three-game road winning streak into the Bay Area, a destination the team has enjoyed success in recently.

Baltimore will send Chris Tillman (7-5, 4.11 ERA) to the mound to start this three-game series.

Tillman has had an erratic season, winning just seven of 20 starts, but has by no means been a write off. Last Saturday, the 26-year-old pitched 6 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees, allowed three runs on seven hits. Unfortunately for the right-hander, he got no run support as the Yankees earned a 3-0 victory.

He’ll hope to bounce back against the A’s, a team he’s played well against in his career.

  • Tillman is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three career starts against Oakland

Oakland will counter with new recruit and All-Star Jeff Samardzija (3-8, 2.78 ERA).

Since arriving in Oakland via a trade with the Chicago Cubs, Samardzija is 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts. During that stretch, the 29-year-old has allowed four runs on nine hits. He’s walked just one batter while striking out 10.

The right-hander will look to return to winning ways on Friday.

  • Samardzija will play his first career game against Baltimore on Friday

The two clubs met earlier in the season in Baltimore, a series that led to a pair of bench-clearing incidents involving Orioles’ third baseman Manny Machado, who was subsequently suspended for five games.

Machado says he’s moved on from the whole thing but it’ll be interesting to see if there’s an animosity hangover, or if cooler heads will prevail.

Baltimore continues to play without catcher Matt Wieters, lost for the season following Tommy John surgery. Oakland is without Josh Reddick (knee), while Coco Crisp (neck) is listed as day-to-day.

Baltimore's Manny Machado sparked tempers when the two sides met last.

Baltimore’s Manny Machado sparked tempers when the two sides met last.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics odds for 07/18/2014

Oakland (-173) opened as the favorite over Baltimore (+163) on the moneyline.

The Athletics are 17-6 in their last 23 games against the Orioles, including 2-1 this season. Last time out (June 8), the A’s thumped the O’s 11-1 at Camden Yards.

However, Baltimore has won four of its last five trips to Oakland. A season ago, the O’s went 3-1 at O.co Coliseum, with the one loss coming in extra innings.

Some trends to consider:

  • Baltimore is 38-23 in night games
  • Oakland is 35-23 in night games
  • Baltimore is 11-6 vs. AL West opponents
  • Oakland is 16-10 vs. AL East opponents
  • Baltimore is 39-29 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Oakland is 41-28 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Baltimore is 9-3 in the month of July
  • Oakland is 8-5 in the month of July

The over/under opened at 7 1/2.

The total has gone under in Baltimore’s last five games and five of Oakland’s last six at home.

Before you rush out and take the under though, keep this in mind: six of the last eight head-to-head matchups between the clubs has seen the total go over, as have four of the last five the teams have played in Oakland.


The series continues over the weekend. Start times are as follows: Saturday, 9:05 p.m. ET; Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET.


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

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