First pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Frankie Montas (2-1, 1.57 ERA) vs. Luke Weaver (0-3, 11.85 ERA)
Oakland Athletics vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Predictions
Before going down with an injury last season, Luke Weaver was doing some special things in his first year with the Diamondbacks. That is why I say do not be misled by the righty’s current stat line.
Weaver made 12 starts prior to suffering a forearm strain and showed why he was a main get for Arizona in the Paul Goldschmidt trade. The former first-round draft pick crafted together an impressive 2.94 ERA and 1.07 WHIP while logging 9.65 K/9. Weaver also held opposing hitters to a .227 batting average despite a .292 mark on his balls being put in play.
So far this year, that BABIP is more than 100 points higher (.395), which is extremely unlucky. This bad luck has also played a role in Weaver allowing a whopping seven homers through just 13.2 innings. Obviously, that won’t continue. And the 9.05 FIP he’s posted is nearly three full runs lower than his 11.85 ERA, indicating he has pitched better than that.
If there’s been any good to Weaver’s showing, it’s the career-best 11.20 K/9 and uptick in average pitch velocity we’ve seen from him. Simply put, he’s on a path to turn it around much sooner than later.
On the other end of this pitching matchup is Montas, the recent American League Player of the Week from two weeks ago. He hasn’t started since after being scratched prior to his most recent assignment last Friday but if anything, that will only fire up the big, animated Athletics starter even more than usual.
Montas did not make his last start in San Francisco due to back tightness. However, by all accounts, he appears to be back to 100 percent, and so long as that is the case, I am confident he will continue on with his strong early-season showcase.
The extra rest figures to only help Montas as well. In his 12 career major league starts on six or more days of rest, he’s 7-2 with a real shiny 2.39 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.
MLB Picks & Leans - August 18
WAS/ATL Under 9
TOR/BAL Under 10
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 6-16-3, -12.02 units
Yesterday’s Result: Blue Jays-Orioles Under 9 (“Push”)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit