Date/Time: August 24th, 4:05 PM ET
Probable Starters: Parker (Oakland) vs. Tillman (Baltimore)
Moneyline: Orioles -137
The Baltimore Orioles are playing for their lives right now, and they look the part of a desperate team. They’ll take on the Oakland Athletics, who are fighting for their own place in the AL playoff chase as well.
The A’s are starting to really lose some ground to the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and the truth of the matter is that they might never really get the chance to close the gap once again. Oakland is three back in the loss column, and this is a very tough road trip which will probably makes matters worse, not better. After taking a 4-0 lead on Friday and blowing it, the Athletics have to be down on themselves, and they are going to need RHP Jarrod Parker to be huge in this one if they are going to have a shot to win. Parker has had back to back stellar performances, but we are wondering whether this is the man that we are going to see on Saturday. Parker has allowed just one run in each of his last two starts, and he pitched into the ninth in both games. However, those outings came against the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros. Also, he only has two total walks in his last three starts after issuing 48 bases on balls in his first 22 outings. Things that make you go hmm… for sure!
Baltimore is the consummate team which always seems to be in the thick of fight in spite of the fact that at least mathematically, there is no business for it to be doing so. The O’s are 4.5-games back in the AL East, but the bottom line is that this is the series that has to be won. They are two back in the loss column of Oakland for that last Wild Card spot, and the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians are right there as well. RHP Chris Tillman has been pitching well of late, as he has a 3.15 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in his last three starts. These are actually better numbers than he has posted for the whole season, but for the first time in a long time, the club isn’t picking its righty up. The O’s are just 1-2 in Tillman’s last three starts, which is very uncharacteristic for a team that is 18-7 with its ace on the bump. That said, Tillman has only allowed more than six hits in a game once since July 21st, and that certainly has to count for something.
The Orioles fought their butts off on Friday night to be able to rally and win that game, and that might be the one that helps turn around the season. There really isn’t much justification as to why Tillman continues to win games, but the bottom line is that he continues to do so. The A’s are looking rocky, and we think that this road trip is going to get the best of them when push comes to shove. We want Baltimore on our side on Saturday afternoon.
Oakland Athletics @ Baltimore Orioles Pick: Baltimore Orioles -137
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.