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MLB Betting – Oakland Athletics 2020 Season Preview

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/23/2020

  • Oakland Athletics are at 20-1 odds to win World Series

  • A's will look to avoid another slow start in an abbreviated season

  • Athletics expected to have one of the better young pitching units

  • The A’s have two potential stars in OF Ramon Laureano and top prospect Sean Murphy

  • Bookmaker offering a generous welcome bonus with a $1000 maximum


OF Ramon Laureano considered one of the A's biggest stars coming into 2020

Moneyball is alive and well in the Bay Area. The small market Oakland Athletics have been a playoff team the last two seasons winning 97 games each time. And they look poised to make another run at the big boys in the AL in 2020. Unfortunately an AL West title wasn’t in the cards with the juggernaut Astros competing in the same division. The A’s will again be matched up with the ‘Stros for supremacy in what should be a tight race at the top. Oakland is getting respect from oddsmakers with a +230 price on a division crown. That might be the way to go since Houston will have to deal with the fallout from a cheating scandal if and when the first pitch is tossed.

2020 Oakland Athletics At A Glance

Oakland Athletics World Series Odds +2039

Oakland Athletics AL Pennant Odds +1017

Oakland Athletics AL West Odds +230

2020 Oakland Athletics Overview

Only two teams in the AL won more games over the last two seasons than the Athletics; One of them happened to be division rival Houston. As such back-to-back 97-win seasons got the A’s a runner-up ribbon and into the Wild Card game where they lost each time. Bob Melvin and his troops are hoping to turn the corner in 2020 and the A’s have the horses.

One thing the A’s will have to overcome with a likely shortened season is another slow start, something that has plagued the squad in the past. At the end of May last year the A’s were just 30-28 and it took an 11-game winning streak earlier in the month go get there. At the same point in 2018 they were 29-28. Clearly they can’t afford that type of start in 2020.

They have a full roster entering the campaign, and that includes a young rotation with potential to be among the best in the AL. The young position players are all wiser to the fickle game of baseball and a year older to deal with the increased expectations. Yes, there are increased expectations even after winning 194 games with a pair of playoff appearances the last two years.

Pitching

At the very least the Athletics will have one of the best young rotations in baseball heading into the season. Sean Manaea is back after having his season cut short with a shoulder injury, Frankie Montas returns after serving a suspension, and the expected jump from hard throwing Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk is a boost. All four are under 28 with Luzardo and Puk not even 25.

Holding up the youngsters is veteran Mike Fiers, who now has more incentive to beat the Astros. The whistleblower in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal had a solid 2019 going 15-4 with a 3.90 ERA. Maneae returned late last season and showed off his surgically repaired shoulder by winning four of five starts with a 1.21 ERA.

Montas was having a breakout year before being suspended going 9-2 with a 2.63 ERA and 103 strikeouts over 96 innings. The X-factors are the youngest in the rotation. Luzardo was on the shelf for a chunk of the season with an injury and Puk made just 10 appearances after recovering from Tommy John surgery. Melvin said both will have their innings monitored and a shortened slate will only make them tougher to deal with.

If there is a weakness it’s the bullpen. Liam Hendricks emerged as the closer last year saving 25 games. Lou Trivino, Yusmeiro Petit and Joakim Soria are all experienced arms that need to put up solid innings since the rotation isn’t expected to go deep into games.

Hitting

Offense shouldn’t be a problem. The A’s belted 257 home runs to rank fifth in MLB and scored the eighth-most runs. The infield is one of the most underrated in baseball. Not only can the unit hit they also play stellar defense. First baseman Matt Olson hit 36 homers – one of three A’s to hit more than 30 – and drove in 91 in 127 games. 3B Matt Chapman also had 36 bombs and 91 RBIs. The corner infielders aren’t even 27 years old. SS Marcus Semien mashed 33 homers with a team-best 92 RBIs while hitting .285.

The A’s have two potential stars in OF Ramon Laureano and top prospect Sean Murphy, who looks to take over at catcher. Laureano flashed five-tool potential last year hitting .288 with 24 homers while swiping 13 bags. Murphy crushed Triple-A pitching and swatted four homers in 20 games at the big league level. The other outfield spots will likely be platooned with Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty and Robbie Grossman. Khris Davis doesn’t hit for a high average but he does hit homers. He had three straight 40+ seasons before dipping to 23 last year.

2020 Oakland Athletics Season Pick

I like the potential of this team but there are too many question marks surrounding the pitching staff to feel confident about a World Series. I do think the A’s will be right there with Houston atop the division and a fast start will be the difference between a title and another runner-up finish. Dropping a few bucks on the A’s to win the AL West isn’t a crazy wager.

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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