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Cardinals @ Athletics Preview

It is clear that after each of these ball clubs split the first two games in this series each team has an immense respect for each other.

They do everything well.  They pitch well, they hit well, they score runs, they play defense. They’re a very good team.

-Bob Melvin, A’s Manager

The Oakland Athletics won the series opener with Bartolo Colon on the mound.  He earned his 11th victory in this game.  The St. Louis Cardinals came back to dominate Oakland with Adam Wainwright pitching for his 11th win as well.  However, both these teams currently sit in second place in their division, with the A’s 0.5 games behind the Texas Rangers and St. Louis one game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.  While both teams have great winning percentages making a playoff run will be a lot more secure if they sit atop their divisions.

The A’s will be starting left-hander Tommy Milone.  Milone is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA over his last three starts.  Milone was taken off the mound early in his last game after pitching a rough 4 2/3 innings in which he allowed three runs and loaded up the bases before being taken out of the game.

St. Louis will be starting the veteran right-hander Jake Westbrook.  Westbrook has been battling elbow inflammation as of late, but has been working through it.  In his last outing he defeated the Houston Astros by pitching six innings and only allowing four hits.

The A’s have been playing very well when at home this season.  They have swept five of the previous six home series before this series.  They have also won 15 of their last 18 home games overall even counting their last loss to the Cards.

The A’s maybe focused completely on taking the top division spot from the Rangers, the Cardinals, on the other hand, have to worry about two teams in their division as they have the Pirates atop the division and the Cincinnati Reds right on their heels also looking to take the division.  It doesn’t help that the Cards 11-game interleague play has been a rough one thus far going 2-5.

The A’s are the favorites to win this one according to Bovada‘s money line.  The Athletics money line is at -136 compared to the Cards money line of +126.   The game starts at 4:05 p.m. ET.

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