Los Angeles Angels (-145, 6.5) at Oakland Athletics
No lead has been safe for the Los Angeles Angels, due to a depleted and overtaxed bullpen that has been shredded regularly during the first seven games of their 10-game road trip. With no easy fix in sight, the Angels will opt for the next-best thing when they send ace Jered Weaver to the mound for the opener of a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics. Los Angeles is sitting one-half game behind the Athletics for the top spot in the AL wild-card chase.
Oakland has cooled a bit since a scorching 19-5 mark in July that propelled the team into the AL West division race. The Athletics had to settle for a four-game split with Toronto after losing the last two games of the series. Oakland is also dealing with an overworked bullpen after playing a pair of 15-inning games in a five-game span. Josh Reddick started to emerge from his funk against Toronto with a pair of homers and six RBIs in the series.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, FSW, CSCA
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Jered Weaver (14-1, 2.29 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Jarrod Parker (7-5, 3.44)
Since returning from a stint on the disabled list, Weaver has won eight consecutive starts and allowed two runs or fewer in seven. He gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings at Texas last time out. Weaver has dominated the Athletics in two outings this season, holding them to one run and eight hits in 14 2/3 innings. He is 7-7 with a 2.63 ERA lifetime against Oakland.
Parker was on the losing end of a decent outing last time out, giving up three runs and eight hits in a 4-1 defeat to Tampa Bay. Parker had one of his best starts of the season against the Angels on May 23, limiting them to one run and striking out eight in seven innings. He has not been as sharp in his last five outings, with his ERA rising nearly a full run.
*Angels are 6-0 in their last six road games with the total set at 6.5 or lower.
*Los Angeles is 6-0 in Weaver's last 6 road starts.
*Athletics are 10-1 in their last 11 games as a home underdog of +110 to +150.
*Under is 6-1 in Angels' last seven road games with the total set at 6.5 or lower.
*Under is 5-1 in Oakland's last six games as a home underdog of +110 to +150.
1. Red-hot Angels 1B Albert Pujols is riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he has belted six homers and driven in 13 runs.
2. Oakland has won five of nine meetings in this year's series, in which the away team has prevailed six times.
3. The Angels' bullpen has posted a 9.70 ERA, blown three saves and taken four losses during the current road trip.