Two surprise playoff contenders square off Friday when the Oakland Athletics visit the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a three-game series. Oakland had a seven-game winning streak ended by the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday and the pesky Athletics are 10-2 since the All Star break and 16-3 in July. Baltimore is in second place in the tough American League East and halted a three-game skid by beating Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The Orioles were expected to be near the bottom of the AL East but exceeded expectations with a strong first half. Baltimore has struggled to score runs of late, and Thursday’s 6-2 victory over the Rays ended a stretch in which the Orioles tallied just one run in three consecutive games. Oakland is in the playoff mix due to its solid play this month. The Athletics have excelled in staging dramatic comebacks, which has lifted the confidence of a team six years removed from its last playoff appearance.
Athletics Orioles Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, July 27, 2012
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet California (Oakland), Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Jarrod Parker (7-4, 3.00 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Zach Britton (1-0, 3.60)
Parker has been exceptional while allowing one run or less in five of his last seven starts. He defeated the New York Yankees in his last outing when he gave up one run and five hits in eight innings. Parker is 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in seven road starts. He has never faced Baltimore.
Britton is making his third start of the season since being called up in mid-July. He tossed six shutout innings and gave up four hits while beating the Cleveland Indians in his last start. Britton went 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two starts against Oakland last season.
1. Baltimore C Matt Wieters is 1-for-30 with 15 strikeouts over his last eight games.
2. Athletics OF Josh Reddick is batting .361 with six homers in 72 career at-bats against the Orioles.
3. Baltimore took two of three from Oakland in April and hasn’t won a season series against the Athletics since 1998.