The Oakland Athletics (4-6) and Los Angeles Angels (3-6) will open up an American League West divisional series on Monday night inside Angel Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:05 ET

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels  

The Los Angeles Angels are off to a slow start through nine games of the 2012 MLB season

Oakland dropped the final two games of its three-game series against the Seattle Mariners, including a 5-3 decision on Sunday afternoon.  The Athletics will continue their seven-game AL West series tonight.  Offensively, the team is having a really tough time at the plate, tallying fewer than 10 hits in each of their first 10 games.  “I think we’re getting close offensively,” commented Athletics manager Bob Melvin.  Oakland is 2-4 versus right-handed starters and the “under” is 4-2 in those contests.

Athletics starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 2.50 ERA) will make his fourth start of the year, coming off a no-decision effort at home against the Kansas City Royals, giving up two runs and six hits over six innings in a 5-4 win.  The right-hander will be making his 10th career appearance against the Angels, coming in with a 1-2 record and 4.79 ERA, including an 0-2 mark and 6.00 ERA in five outings at Angel Stadium.

Los Angeles may certainly be jet-lagged after suffering a 11-5 road loss to the New York Yankees on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, as the team dropped two of three in the series.  “I guess if we were playing a 10-game season, we’d be in trouble,” commented Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick.  The team has received just two quality starts from its high-profile staff, as the group has registered a 5.23 ERA on the season thus far.  Los Angeles is 29-11 at home when the total is 7 or less the last two-plus seasons.

Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (1-0, 3.21 ERA) will look to pick up his second home victory in as many starts tonight, as he didn’t pick up a decision in the team’s 6-5 road loss to the Minnesota Twins last time out.  He allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings in that effort.  In 20 career starts versus the Athletics, Weaver has a losing 6-7 mark and 2.85 ERA, including a 3-1 record and 1.42 ERA in five starts last year.

Bettors will likely back the Angels due to their 39-14 record in Weaver’s last 53 starts as  a home favorite, while the Athletics are 3-7 in McCarthy’s last 10 road outings.

Recommendation: Los Angeles Angels -180

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