Giants vs A’s

Giants vs A’s – 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on September 18, 2020

A huge Bay Bridge Series begins Friday night from Oakland– assuming the air quality is good enough with those terrible wildfires in California – when the A’s host the Giants. Oakland is on the verge of clinching the AL West, while San Francisco is battling for an NL Wild Card spot.

How to Bet A’s at Giants MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 9:40 PM ET
  • Where: Oakland Coliseum
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Logan Webb or TBA/Chris Bassitt
  • TV: MLB Extra Innings
  • Stream/gameday audio:
  • Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on San Francisco? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

This is the last road series of the year for the Giants as they close the regular season with four at home vs. Colorado and three vs. San Diego. San Francisco has a pretty good shot at a Wild-Card spot.

Reliever Reyes Moronta threw one inning in a game at the Giants’ alternate training site Wednesday. Moronta required surgery last fall for a torn labrum in his shoulder and has nearly completed the long road back. He has a shot to pitch with the big club before the end of the season. Moronta was very good last year before the injury so he would be a terrific late addition before the playoffs.

Outfielder Alex Dickerson should be back in the lineup as he didn’t start Thursday’s finale vs. the Mariners simply for rest. Dickerson went 3-for-5 with an RBI on Wednesday night and boasts an .887 OPS with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 42 total games this season. He’s 8-for-25 over his last 10 games with a homer and three RBI.

First baseman Brandon Belt is having a terrific season. Belt has a 46.3% hard-hit rate this season, his highest in any season of his career tracked by Statcast (since 2015). His prior highest was 42.1% in 2015.  He’s increased his hard-hit rate by 8.4 percentage points from 2019. The only hitters with larger increases are Corey Seager (+9.6) and Jesse Winker (+9.2).

Belt’s 90.5 mph average exit velocity is also a career-best. His 17.1% barrel rate is also the highest of his career. Belt’s expected slugging percentage of .616, which is based on quality of contact, plus strikeouts, is in the top four percent of the league. Belt is slashing .305/.401/.602 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 40 games this season.

San Francisco hasn’t named a pitcher for this outing. It was scheduled to be Trevor Cahill’s turn, but Cahill (1-1) earned the win Wednesday with two scoreless innings versus the Mariners. He allowed two hits and a walk and struck out four. Cahill could work either as a spot starter or in a multi-inning relief role during the rest of the regular season.

It could thus be a bullpen game Friday for the Giants. Or Logan Webb is a possibility. Webb allowed one run over four innings last Sunday in a no-decision against the Padres. San Francisco ultimately fell 3-1, with the official loss going to reliever Sam Selman. Webb pitched well outside of a second-inning homer off the bat of Wil Myers, yielding only four total hits and one walk while striking out five. The young right-hander has a 4.96 ERA.

Why Bet on Oakland? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The A’s swept three games in San Francisco from Aug. 14-16. Oakland has the advantage of being off Thursday so will have its full bullpen available. The A’s split two games in Colorado to open this week, winning 3-1 on Wednesday.

Jake Lamb picked up two more hits and an RBI Wednesday. One of Lamb’s two singles plated a run in the A’s two-run sixth inning. Lamb is now 5-for-11 with one home run, two doubles and two RBI in his first three games for Oakland, giving the team a needed shot in the arm after Matt Chapman (hip) went down. Lamb had been released by Arizona earlier this year and just recently signed with Oakland.

Liam Hendriks tossed 1 2/3 scoreless frames to record a save Wednesday. Hendriks was called upon with one out in the eighth. He permitted a two-out single to Kevin Pillar but then retired the next four batters he faced, two via strikeouts. Hendriks now has 13 saves and has been arguably the best reliever in MLB.

Well, his teammate Jake Diekman has been as good. Diekman has not allowed a run in his 17 appearances (17.1 ip) and now has a career-high 21-inning scoreless streak. His 17.1 innings pitched are tied for the most in the majors among pitchers with no runs allowed.

It’s scheduled to be Chris Bassitt (4-2) on the mound Friday. Bassitt yielded one run on eight hits over six innings last Saturday in a win over the Rangers. Bassitt recorded a season-high eight strikeouts and only issued a pair of walks. A solo homer off the bat of Joey Gallo in the sixth inning accounted for the only damage against him.

Otherwise, Bassitt dominated the Rangers lineup with those season-best eight strikeouts that were backed by 17 called strikes and 13 swinging strikes across 100 total pitches. He has given up just one run across his last two starts (15 innings). The 31-year-old righty owns a 2.92 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 42/14 K/BB ratio across 49 1/3 innings (nine starts).

Bassitt hasn’t faced the Giants this season.

Expert PredictionA’s 5, Giants 3
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