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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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Sunday Night Baseball Oakland A's vs Atlanta Braves Free Pick

Sunday night baseball and we will see the Oakland A's take on the Atlanta Braves in game 3 of their 3 game series from Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. First pitch is scheduled for an 8:05 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised on ESPN. 

Current Odds

Oakland            -148
Atlanta              +138

Over/ Under: 7 U -115

Analysis: The Oakland A's no longer have the best record in baseball, as the Angels have them by 2 pct points. Technically the A's are tied with the Angels in the AL West. The A's are now 1-5 on this current road trip and 1-6 in their last 7 overall. The A's have really slumped offensively of late, but still they lead the league in scoring (4.83 rpg), while also ranking 17th in hitting (.250) and 6th in homers (123). The pitching has really kept them in the race as they come in ranking 4th in ERA (3.22) and 2nd in WHIP (1.17). John Lester gets the ball for the A's in this one and has been very solid for them since being traded, as he has gone 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in 3 starts. Lester is 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 3 career starts vs the Braves. 

The Braves have really slumped of late as they have won just 5 of their last 17 games. Atlanta is now 6 games behind the Nationals in the NL East and they are 1.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the 2nd Wildcard berth in the National league.  The Braves are a poor offensive team, as they come in ranked 28th in the league in scoring (3.73 rpg), 22nd in hitting (.245) and 16th in homers (99). The pitching has been very solid, as they come in ranked 7th in ERA (3.40), 16th in WHIP (1.28) and 1st in quality starts (85). Getting the ball for the Braves tonight will be Mike Minor, who is 4-8 with a 5.33 ERA in 18 starts this year, while at home he is 2-6 with a 5.30 ERA. Mike has never faced the A's, but he is 2-7 with a 3.67 ERA in 13 interleague starts.    

Pick: I will be going with the A's in this one. Neither offense is performing all that well right now, but I have to feel that the A's offense is still better than that of the Braves, plus the A's have a huge edge on the mound, with Lester over Minor. Jon Lester is 3-0 with the A's, while going back to his time with Boston he is 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA. Mike Minor has struggled all year, as he has a 4-8 mark with a 5.33 ERA overall, while in his last 5 starts he is 2-3 with a 7.57 ERA. Just horrible numbers for Minor, who is also 2-7 in 13 career interleague starts. The A's are still tops in the league in scoring, while Atlanta is 28th. I look for the A's to salvage this last game of this series.  

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