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MLB Computer Picks for June 17: Are the Oakland A’s for Real? 

Ryan Noda Oakland Athletics MLB player
Ryan Noda 49 of the Oakland Athletics hits an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at RingCentral Coliseum on June 15 2023 in Oakland California Thearon W HendersonGetty ImagesAFP

The Oakland Athletics were in the wrong movie. They were the focus of Moneyball, based on the 2003 Michael Lewis book, but maybe they should have been in Major League instead. The current owners aren’t just cheap like the ones from 20 years ago; they appear hell-bent on stripping this asset and moving the remnants, only this time to Las Vegas instead of Miami. 

Whichever movie you choose, the players rallied to win despite the obstacles put in front of them – and sure enough, the A’s just rattled off seven straight wins out of nowhere. It’s not just dumb luck, either. The algorithms at OddsTrader see the value in this team, enough to make Oakland our top MLB computer pick for Saturday’s slate. 

Picks Summary

  • Athletics +1.5 (-110) at BetMGM
  • Pirates-Brewers Over 8.5 (-105) at Bet365
  • Cardinals-Mets Under 9 (-114) at SBK 


Philadelphia Phillies vs. Oakland Athletics

Saturday, June 17, 2023 – 04:07 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum


Let the Good Times Roll

It was both fun and profitable kicking the A’s while they were down, but maybe their rise from historically low levels of production was inevitable. At the very least, their pitching staff was bound to improve once all those injured players came back, especially closer Trevor May (on May 23) and nominal ace Paul Blackburn (on May 29). 

James Kaprielian (6.06 xFIP) has also seen some improvement since his most recent trip to AAA-Las Vegas. Oakland’s ninth-ranked prospect according to FanGraphs, Kaprielian led the A’s to defeat in each of his first seven starts before pulling out back-to-back wins over the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays; those victories clawed back 4.74 betting units, leaving Kaprielian just 2.26 units in the red. 

Cushion for the Cover

That’s against the moneyline, of course. We’re going with the run line instead since the OT computers project the Phillies to win Saturday’s contest 5.2 runs to 4.9. But it’s just as well, given how these two teams have performed against each betting line thus far: 

  • Oakland: 19-52 SU, minus-18.12 units; 31-40 ATS, minus-9.44 units 
  • Philadelphia: 35-34 SU, minus-4.70 units; 28-41 ATS, minus-15.39 units

The Pick

The Phillies are 14-7 this year in games decided by more than one run, so they’ve definitely been lucky in that aspect – but they’ll need to win by two to beat the spread this Saturday. And while nothing’s been made official yet at press time, there’s a good chance Philly will call up rookie Cristopher Sanchez (4.10 lifetime xFIP) for a spot start. 

MLB Pick: Athletics +1.5 (-110) at BetMGM


Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Saturday, June 17, 2023 – 04:10 PM EDT at American Family Field 


Bounce Back Spot?

The Pirates have hit the skids lately, losing two of three to Oakland and eventually getting swept by the Chicago Cubs; the Over cashed in all five times to sit at 33-31-3 on the season for Pittsburgh. While A’s pitchers are on the upswing, the Pirates have had the worst staff in baseball this month, down from No. 15 in FanGraphs WAR on the season. 

Mitch Keller (3.27 xFIP) will try to stop the bleeding for Pittsburgh opposite Wade Miley (5.36 xFIP), who will make his first start after coming off the 15-day IL with a strained lat. Miley has split his totals at 4-4 for Milwaukee (Under 37-28-3), but Keller has the Over at 9-6, and Saturday’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70s. 

The Pick 

The OT computers have the Brewers winning this on 4.7 runs to 4.5, which seems reasonable – but we’re recommending a slight lean just in case, since the forecast also calls for 5-10 mph winds blowing directly towards home plate. 

MLB Pick: Over 8.5 (-105) at Bet365


St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets

Saturday, June 17, 2023 – 04:10 PM EDT at Citi Field


One More Time

We’ve got room for one more baseball pick, and it’s on the Under when the Mets (Under 34-30-4) host the Cardinals (Under 34-33-2). That’s assuming they play – it’s about a coin flip whether it’ll rain or not. 

Let’s hope they play. The forecast for Flushing also features 10-mph winds blowing in from left, and Citi Field has a park factor of 90 for runs this year (No. 26 overall) according to Baseball Savant. 

The Pick

Even better, Kodai Senga (3.99 xFIP) is due to start for New York. The Japanese sensation has the Under at 8-4 this year; sadly, Adam Wainwright (5.51 xFIP, Over 4-3) will be twirling for St. Louis, but the OT computers say the Mets will win 4.5 runs to 3.9. Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken. 

MLB Pick: Under 9 (-114) at SBK 


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