(Matt Chapman photo courtesy Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)
Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.
When and Where: Saturday, July 13, Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, Calif., 4:07 p.m. EDT.
Injuries never come at a good time, but in the case of Dylan Covey, it came at a most inopportune one considering he had recorded his best two starts of the year before landing on the injured list.
After a month’s absence, Covey is expected to start Saturday when the Chicago White Sox continue their series with the Oakland Athletics.
Covey hoping to pick up where he left off for Pale Hose
After nearly a month’s worth of middling starts in which he lost all three decisions and posted a 5.40 ERA in six outings, something clicked for Covey (1-4, 4.58 ERA) at the end of May.
He worked in and out of trouble in beating Cleveland, yielding one run and eight hits in six innings, and the right-hander followed with a solid start versus Washington, giving up two runs in five innings of Chicago’s eventual 6-4 defeat June 5.
Covey was put on the injured list with shoulder inflammation four days later and is expected to be activated prior to the game to make this start. He made three rehab starts at Triple-A Charlotte to rebuild his arm strength and threw 51 of 74 pitches for strikes in four innings against New Orleans on Sunday.
Covey did not get a decision in his lone start against Oakland, failing to last five innings after being staked to a 5-0 lead in the first last year. The righty walked four in four-plus innings, yielding four runs and two hits as the A’s eventually rallied for a 7-6 victory.
Yoan Moncada had a first-inning single in Friday night’s 5-1 loss to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active run in the majors. Moncada, who went 3 for 5 in the loss, is hitting .404 (23 for 57) with four homers during the streak.
A’s hope break helps Bassitt regroup from rough outing
Chris Bassitt (5-4, 4.29) did not string together wins in back-to-back starts at any point in the first half of the season but also lost consecutive outings just once.
The right-hander went into the All-Star break on a down note, getting tagged for season worsts of six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss at Seattle last Saturday. The big blows came in the fourth on a pair of two-run homers off Bassitt, who shied away from his curve ball after seeing Mariners hitters hold off on it.
“They had a really good approach and just sat on — they didn’t swing one time at my curveball,” he told The Mercury News. “Cutter, fastball — that’s what I had. It wasn’t so much about pitches, it was more so the speed of pitches and they were just on that speed.”
Bassitt has had his issues with Chicago, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts with nine runs and 14 hits allowed in 10 2-3 innings. He lost on the road to the White Sox last year in the most recent matchup, giving up five runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-4 defeat June 22, 2018.
The Athletics are:
- 4-0 in Bassitt’s last four starts vs. AL Central teams.
- 9-2 in their last 11 games vs. starters with a plus-1.30 WHIP.
- 8-3 in their last 11 home games vs. right-handed starters.
The White Sox are:
- 2-20 in Covey’s last 22 road starts.
- 4-18 in Covey’s last 22 starts following a loss in their previous game.
- 0-6 in Covey’s last six starts vs. above-.500 teams.
Athletics -1.5 runs (-110)
This game has the feel where the Athletics knock around Covey faster than the righty knocks the rust off in his first start in over a month. Covey’s road form over the past season-plus offers no confidence, and he is 0-3 with a 6.41 ERA in four starts outside Chicago in 2019.
Bassitt was also fairly consistent for a month before slumping in his final start before the All-Star break, but the big thing for this game is the extra rest. The righty won both his starts pitching on six or more days between starts, throwing 13 shutout innings in those games.
Athletics -0.5 runs first 5 innings (-145)
The Athletics have led at the five-inning mark in 15 of their last 20 games (15-5), which includes a 3-1 mark in Bassitt’s last four outings. The White Sox were also 0-4 at the midway point in Covey’s four road starts and failed to score in the last three before he went on the injured list.
Athletics 3-way ML first 3 innings (-110)
The 3-way money line is offering a slightly better return than laying the half-run with the A’s for the first three innings (-115), and there is enough separation in terms of how Bassitt and Covey work early to make this pick.
Bassitt has held hitters to a .174 batting average in the first run through the lineup compared to Covey’s .292 mark, and the A’s starter has a 3.21 ERA in each of the first three frames compared to Covey’s 5.14 mark in the first through third.
And once more, the expectation is for Oakland hitters to be aggressive as Covey attempts to establish his command in the strike zone.
OVER 9. 5 runs (-115)
The number landed as expected at 9.5, and the hook gives the over the nod. It has delivered in Bassitt’s last four starts and gone 3-1-1 in his last five at home versus sub-.500 teams.
The over is 6-2 in Chicago’s last eight in the second game of series. It also has continued to dominate in this matchup, posting a 10-1 record in the last 11 meetings and a 6-1 mark in the last seven in Oakland.
Athletics OVER 5.5 runs (-110)
Oakland’s offense has been consistent of late, plating five or more runs in seven of its last 10 games. The hook makes this a risky pick to a degree, but the hedge is the Athletics are able to get to Covey early and continue his road woes.
There was some thought of taking the seven-inning over of four runs at -131 as a safer option, but after Oakland got three homers from players not named Khris Davis or Matt Chapman, there is confidence the A’s can get to this number.
OVER 5.5 runs first 5 innings (-121)
This is another pick in which the expectation is for A’s hitters to aggressively go after Covey in hopes he will be wild in the strike zone in his return.
The lack of run support the White Sox have given him on the road is a concern, especially after Mike Fiers shut them down Friday night, but Bassitt’s lack of control with 32 walks in 77 2-3 innings means Chicago should have a chance or two to plate some runs.