San Diego @ Oakland
Oakland +130 over San Diego

Posted at 11:30 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle +131  BET365 +130 Sportsinteraction +130 888Sport +130

Oakland +130 over San Diego

4:00 PM EST. Man, is this one ever tasty. On one hand, we have the unappealing A’s (unappealing in the market, that is), who have been playing near .500 ball for 6 weeks or more and who are grossly undervalued here, taking back an inflated trae against a starting pitcher for San Diego who can never be favored by this much at home, let alone on the road. 

Matt Waldron (RHP - SD) made his major league debut with a spot start on Saturday, June 24. It may not be optimal to review his stat lines from Triple-A in the 2nd half of 2022 or the entirety of 2023 – ERAs of 8.44 and 7.02 ERA. No matter how you slice it, it’s tough to find a lot of positivity there. Regardless, Waldron is a knuckleballer and, thus, it is often difficult to ascertain value given the fluctuating performances from outing to outing. He throws more than just a knuckleball. He mixes in an 88-91 mph fastball as well as a slider. As such, he often uses his fastball and/or slider to set up the knuckleball. From a velocity perspective, the knuckler does pack a little punch, coming in between 78-82 mph. Because of its inherent movement, it can be difficult to control. Waldron was originally an 18th round pick in 2019 by the Guardians before they traded him to San Diego as a player to be named later in November 2020. Matt Waldron has made three starts for the Padres this year, to which he’s pitched to a 6.75 ERA with a 2.45 HR/9. Dude isn’t fooling anyone. Phil Niekro he is not. 

We predicate future performance not just on tools and not just on what a player is doing now even as these data make up a significant amount of future value variance. We also place these things in the context of performance over time. And that, dear reader, is the major "hold up, wait a minute" regarding Mason Miller (RHP - OAK), a personal long-time follow who might seem like he shot out of a cannon from near nowhere into serious baseball consciousness but these frighteningly elite tools and exceptional performances, however brief, have been there all along. 

6'5" and 220 pounds, the Pittsburgh native was drafted out of Gardner-Webb University in 2021 in the 3rd by Oakland, where he put together a dominant senior season over 92.2 IP. A shoulder strain delayed his professional debut until the end of '22 and he only got in 14 innings alongside 16.2 electric innings in the AFL this past offseason. Miller came in with two dominant pitches in his four-seamer that tickles 102 mph and sits 99/100. Despite the starter designation, many evaluators have talked about Miller as a future closer candidate because of his dominant two-pitch repertoire, violence in his delivery, and injury history—including managing his recently discovered type I diabetes that prevented him from putting on weight for years. 

Miller hit the IL with right elbow inflammation in mid May though an MRI revealed no structural damage. He pitched in April and May at this level, appearing in four games but was subsequently sent down to the minors where he struck out 23 batters in 12 innings and gave up three hits. In two games since being recalled (one start and one relief appearance), he pitched two innings in both against Houston and Toronto and surrendered one hit while striking out six on four innings. 

We highly doubt the A’s (Moneyball) is going to stretch him out here past three, maybe four innings but we care not, as Oakland is a live pooch today and it’s very possible that Miller dominates for however long he’s out there, just like he’s dominated at every level he’s ever pitched at. 

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Our Pick

Oakland +130 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.60)

Washington +134 over Seattle
Texas +143 over Minnesota
L.A. Angels +100 over Cleveland
San Diego +100 over N.Y. Yankees