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Friday's Best Bet
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Friday MLB Best Bet
Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels

The Oakland Athletics are continuing to hunt down the Houston Astros for 1st place in the AL West, and thanks to Houston's loss last night, Oakland enters this weekend series with the Angels just 4.5 games out. Nothing is ever easy in this division though and while the Angels appear to have punted on the rest of 2018, they are still a talented group that can win on any given night. So who grabs the series lead tonight? Odds: Oakland (-116) vs LAA (+106); Total set at 8.5

Oakland deserves to come into this game as a slight road favorite given the disparity in the records, but I'm not so sure the A's deserve all the love and admiration from bettors tonight that they are currently receiving. According to the bet percentages at, Oakland has already received more than 85% of the ML wagers tonight, but all that action has had little influence on the price.

Oakland ML odds have fluctuated between the -110 and -120 range all afternoon, and considering the overwhelming majority that's on that side, a lack of movement in the price has to be somewhat concerning for Oakland backers.

L.A got back to the .500 mark for the year by sweeping the Detroit Tigers this week and they'd love to play a bit of spoiler to a division rival like Oakland this weekend. Tonight's starter Felix Pena is making his 9th start for the Angels and his starts have had a little bit of everything to say the least.

Pena's last outing saw him trying to stand toe-to-toe with Cleveland's Corey Kluber for the 5+ innings Pena was out there, but he performed admirably in the 3-0 loss. I can tell you this, it was a lot better than the 0.1 IP Pena had in his start prior to that (two starts ago) when he and the Angels were on the wrong end of a 8-5 game against Seattle.

So trusting the solid version of Felix Pena makes it tough to consider the Angels too, especially when L.A hasn't won one of his starts since the first week of July. Pena's inconsistency and the fact that the Angels got their bats going having scored 6+ in all three wins against Detroit has me looking to the high side of the total tonight though.

The action on the total so far is about a 55/45 split in favor of the 'under' as many bettors see the combined O/U record for tonight's starters (4-12 O/U combined) and seem to prefer the low side. Yet, it's not hard to argue the other way with Brett Anderson and Felix Pena on the hill considering they've both got more hits allowed than innings pitched this year.

Their overall numbers make a 4-12 O/U combined record look rather lucky because these two are typically getting hit a lot and hit hard, and then somehow find ways to minimize the damage. Eventually those results aren't going to last forever and we are going to see these two starters cash some 'over' tickets, and that's what I'm looking to do tonight.

Oakland has a 12-3-2 O/U run going when Anderson gets the start against a division opponent, and against the Angels specifically, seven of Oakland's last eight games against this team have cashed 'over' tickets. Take that back even further and you'll get a 19-6-1 O/U run in games played in LA between these two, as the A's are 13-2-1 O/U with any starter out there against division rivals of late.

All of that adds up to me looking for some runs to be scored tonight, as this number still being below a flat '9' makes this a must-play.

Odds per -

Best Bet: Over 8.5

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