Two of the least productive lineups in baseball are set to face off at Progressive Field on Tuesday as the Oakland Athletics (19-55) are on the road to face the Cleveland Guardians (33-38) to open a three-game series.
The Athletics are playing their first of six games on the road after closing out a tough seven-game homestand (2-5). They were just swept in three games against the Phillies, dropping the finale 3-2 on Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for their fifth straight loss.
Aledmys Diaz was 1 for 2 with a solo home run. Esteury Ruiz added a double and one run. The Guardians are back home for a six-game homestand after finishing up a rough six-game road trip (2-4).
They lost two of three against the Diamondbacks in their last series, taking the finale 12-3 on Sunday at Chase Field. Josh Naylor went 4 for 5 with a double, one run, and three RBIs. Myles Straw added one run on two hits.
The Guardians have won two of three in the season series between the teams, including a 6-4 victory in 10 innings in their most recent meeting on April 5 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Eli Morgan threw one scoreless inning of relief to get the win, and Emmanuel Clase earned his second save with a scoreless ninth.
ON THE MOUND
Luis Medina (1-6, 7.55 ERA) is slated to start for Oakland. The RHP allowed four runs over 4.2 innings in his last start, a 6-3 road defeat against the Rays on Wednesday. He took the loss, yielding eight hits while striking out five and walking one.
For Cleveland, righty Aaron Civale (2-2, 2.67 ERA) will toe the rubber. It’s his first appearance of the season against the Athletics. Civale made one start against the Athletics in 2022, throwing four innings in a 9-8 road win on April 29. He gave up seven hits and walked one while striking out three in the no-decision.
In his last start on Wednesday, Civale took the loss on the road against the Padres. He threw 3.2 innings and gave up two runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking four in the 5-0 defeat.
AT THE PLATE
The Oakland offense is averaging 3.5 runs per game for the season, the lowest in the league, with a slash line of .222/.304/.353. Brent Rooker leads the team in OPS at .846.
The left fielder is slashing .255/.356/.491 with 13 home runs, 38 RBIs, and 29 runs over 64 games. Over the last five games, though, Oakland has averaged only 2.2 runs a game while performing worse across the board (.209/.269/.302).
Against right-handed pitchers like Civale this season, the A’s have a .645 OPS, the lowest in the league. Ryan Noda is the team’s most potent producer against right-handers with a .836 OPS in 177 at-bats.
Cleveland is slashing .245/.310/.368 for the season and averaging 3.9 runs per game, the fourth lowest in MLB. Jose Ramirez leads the team with a .851 OPS.
The third baseman has 11 home runs, 43 RBIs, and 41 runs scored with a slash line of .285/.349/.502. The Guardians have a .677 OPS against right-handers in 2023, the fifth lowest in MLB. With a .934 OPS over 184 at-bats, Ramirez also has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Oakland is on a five-game winning streak in road games, bringing their record to 10-26 in 2023. The A’s have scored 4.1 runs per game away from home while allowing 6.8 runs.
Cleveland has gone 16-17 in front of their home fans this season, averaging 3.4 runs per game while surrendering 3.9. Oakland is 7-3 in the last 10 games at Progressive Field between the teams with an average scoreline of 6.4-3.7.
The Athletics are fifth in the AL West, 26 games behind the division-leading Rangers. The Guardians are second in the AL Central, two games behind the Twins.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Cleveland Guardians -1.5 (-130)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.