Athletics vs. Guardians MLB Odds, Preview and Pick

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A 4-game series gets underway in Cleveland on Thursday, and we’ve got an MLB pick for the opener between the Guardians and Oakland Athletics. 

Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians 

Thursday, June 09, 2022 – 07:10 PM EDT at Progressive Field 

We were led to believe by MLB futures that the Cleveland Guardians were going to have to battle just to stay out of the AL Central basement, yet here they are just four games out of the division lead as they prepare to open a long weekend series at home against the Oakland Athletics. 

The letter ‘K’ is appropriately prevalent in the starting pitching matchup for Thursday’s series opener when James Kaprielian (0-3, 6.06) of Oakland is on tap against Konnor Pilkington (1-0, 2.65), and a quick glance at BMR’s odds board reveals Cleveland is decided -160 to -165 chalk with 8½ for the total. 

Can A’s Stop Losing Streak? 

Oakland spent the last couple of days down in Atlanta where the Braves swept a short interleague set and extended the Athletics’ losing skid to eight after they were swept at home by the Astros and Red Sox before beginning this road trip. 

Cleveland has been on the rise since the final few days of May with eight wins in the last 11 contests. The Guardians waited through two long rain delays on Wednesday to beat the Rangers 4-0 and move back to .500 on the campaign for the first time since May 14. 

James Kaprielian Analysis 

In some ways, it’s a bit of a miracle that the Athletics managed to win four of Kaprielian’s seven starts on the year. Oakland’s lineup isn’t exactly a powerhouse, yet simply outscored Kaprielian’s pitching in a few of his starts. 

A sore pitching shoulder delayed the start of the season for the former first-round pick by the New York Yankees, and one of the biggest shortcomings has been keeping the ball in the park with Kaprielian serving up six home runs in his last four outings (20 IP)

Kaprielian actually made his season debut against the Guardians when the clubs collided earlier this year, and while the long ball didn’t hurt him, the poor command did in the resulting loss that came with Cleveland priced as a small home underdog on the MLB odds boards. 

Konnor Pilkington Analysis 

Literally splitting his time between the Cleveland bullpen and rotation this season with three games finished and three games started, Pilkington is coming off his best effort of the season with the first five innings of a 5-0 shutout over the Royals eight days ago as a -135 home favorite at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

A third-round pick in 2018 out of Mississippi State by the Chicago White Sox, Pilkington’s biggest issue so far has been a lack of control with 10 free passes in 17 innings of work, nine of those walks over his three starts that cover 12 frames. 

He was sent down to Triple-A Columbus to stretch out into a starting pitcher’s role just before Cleveland traveled to Oakland to face the Athletics about six weeks ago, and Pilkington is 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA (11.2 IP) in two starts and two relief outings at Progressive Field. 

Rivalry Trends 

Along with usual items like bats, gloves, jock straps, and sunflower seeds, Cleveland took brooms along for a road trip to Oakland earlier this season, outscoring the Athletics 19-12 in the three-game sweep while a mere 34,000 or so fans even bothered to show up at the venerable old Coliseum for the entire series. 

  • Cleveland’s sweep in Oakland follows a similar broom job by the A’s at Progressive Field a year ago, giving the Athletics 8-straight road wins in the rivalry. 
  • The last four meetings in Cleveland split totals, all of those totals closing 9½ at BMR's top-rated sportsbooks and betting sites in each game. 
  • Oakland is 5-9 vs. AL Central teams this season while Cleveland is 6-7 vs. the AL West.  

What’s the Weather Forecast for Cleveland? 

Spring is still hanging on in Cleveland where the weatherman is telling us the game will get underway with clear skies, the thermometer somewhere around 70°, and an 8-10 mph westerly breeze (out to right). 

Athletics vs. Guardians Best Bet

Like every MLB team right now, Oakland and Cleveland are dealing with a lot of injuries, though none of them have occurred recently to have a dramatic effect on this series. 

There’s no question that Cleveland is playing head and shoulders above Oakland right now, but that doesn’t give me enough warm fuzzies to lay this amount of chalk on the Guardians. Let’s play this one to go past the scoreboard target. 

MLB Pick: Over 8½ (-120) with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Over 8½ (-120)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.