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Next two games will show bettors how real the A's are

August 07,2018 23:18

10-4 in extra-inning games. Close games are often coin flips, where a play here or there determines the winner. While successful teams do win a bit more than half of those because of their talent, nobody wins 70 percent of their one-run games “on ...


Bettors will be facing a conundrum with the red-hot A’s in upcoming action. Oakland enters a two-game home series with the Dodgers as both legitimately very good and a bit lucky.
The very good part?
— No. 1 in MLB in Road OPS (.800)— No. 1 in MLB in road scoring (5.5 runs per game)— No. 3 road record in MLB (35-24)
OPS is on-base percentage plus slugging percentage. Performance across a sampling of stadiums is the best way to clean out stat pollution that might be created by a home ballpark. Oakland doesn’t just have a quality offense. The A’s have a world-championship caliber offense that puts them in position to win anywhere.
The lucky part?
– 21-9 in one-run games— 10-4 in extra-inning games
Close games are often coin flips, where a play here or there determines the winner. While successful teams do win a bit more than half of those because of their talent, nobody wins 70 percent of their one-run games “on purpose” in perpetuity. Some regression is on the way in nail-biters. And, that 10-4 record in extra innings is likely to fall back to earth, too.
What’s the potential fly in the ointment that could drive regression? Oakland only ranks No.18 in the majors in road ERA, with a mark of 4.27. A generic staff skill set is likely to mean trouble if the A’s reach the playoffs.
Current MLB rankings in road ERA for other contenders:
1. Astros; 2. Red Sox; 4. Indians; 8. Yankees; 24. Mariners.
Betting markets have been slow to price the A’s to performance. Oakland’s current 33-10 run since mid-June has lifted the team to plus 26.5 betting units for the season.
We know the A’s abuse vulnerable pitching. Let’s see what happens against scheduled starters Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw under something resembling playoff pressure in the intriguing interleague series that starts Tuesday night. That could be a hint for what’s ahead in other upcoming tests — Aug. 13-15 vs. the Mariners, Aug. 17-19 vs. the Astros, Aug. 27-29 at the Astros, Aug. 30-Sept. 2 vs. the Mariners and Sept. 3-5 vs. the Yankees.

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