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The A's and Guardians meet for the second game of a four-game series, and MLB expert Mike Spector weighs in with his best runline play.

Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians Prediction: Will Oakland Drop 10 Straight?

The Oakland Athletics have lost nine consecutive games and 12 of their past 13 and are now tied with Kansas City for the major's worst winning percentage (.339). Oakland also lost eight games from late April to early May, which is the first time they had at least two eight-game losing streaks for the first time since 2005. The fact that they are playing a Cleveland Guardians team that is over .500 does not bode well for its chances, as the A's are an MLB-worst 6-24 against winning teams. 

Meanwhile, Cleveland has won eight of its last ten and is now over .500 (27-26) for the first time since they were 15-14 on May 9th. In addition, the Guardians have won three consecutive series against Texas, Baltimore, and Kansas City and can clinch at least a split of the four-game series with a win tonight. 

Will Cleveland extend its hot streak, or will Oakland follow what the Angels did last night and squash a long losing streak? Read on for our best play for Friday's American League tilt between the Athletics and Guardians along with the Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians odds.

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Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians Line Movement

Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians Prediction

Oakland's Paul Blackburn (5-2, 2.62) started the year on fire as an early dark horse Cy Young candidate. He went 5-0 through his first nine starts while pitching to a 1.70 ERA and doing so against elite competition. In those nine starts, Blackburn faced four winning teams and six if you count the Angels, who were over .500 at the time before their recent downturn. However, the clock has seemingly struck midnight on Blackburn, as he is 0-2 and allowed eight earned runs over 10.2 combined innings in his last two starts.

While Blackburn has been trending downward recently, Cleveland's Triston McKenzie (3-5, 3.10) is coming off a stellar May where he won three of his five starts and pitched to a 2.12 ERA. However, McKenzie did get roughed up in his only June outing, allowing five earned runs over seven innings in a road start at Baltimore, but only allowed three hits, which unfortunately all happened to leave the yard. 

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Surrendering the long ball was uncharacteristic of McKenzie early on, as he allowed just one home run in 17 innings in April. While he has allowed eight home runs over his last four starts, Oakland's offense is not built to take advantage of that, as they have hit just two home runs in their previous ten games. Oakland also ranks last in the majors in team batting average (.210), OBP (.276), and 29th in slugging (.323). They also rank 28th in scoring (191) and 29th in home runs (35).

Six of McKenzie's last seven starts have come on the road, so he will surely appreciate pitching in front of his home fans, where he is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in two starts this year. He should benefit from solid run support from a lineup that ranks in the top ten in the league in batting in home games (.252) and has an MLB-best 15.2% strikeout rate in its home contests. Paul Blackburn is not a big strikeout pitcher to begin with, as he has not accrued more than five strikeouts in any start since his first of the season. Thus, Cleveland should put a lot of balls in play and are an excellent bet to force Blackburn into a third consecutive poor outing.

Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians Pick

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Article Author


Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest


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