If the online sports betting experts were writing a month ago about how Seth Smith and Coco Crisp would be making history in July and putting the Oakland Athletics in position to challenge for an American League playoff spot, there is a good chance most readers would quickly click off the page. However, after another impressive comeback victory to complete a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees and push their record in July to 14-2 overall, the Athletics are suddenly on everybody’s radar in the AL. Oakland has the best record in the majors over that span, as well as a league-leading 11 walk-off wins overall this season. They also became the first team to sweep the Yankees in a four-game series since May of 2003, with all four wins coming by one run. The Athletics are now tied for the second AL Wild Card spot, and 5.5 games back of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West. A six-game road trip against the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles will help define what this team does at the upcoming trade deadline, and in light of everything we have seen this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Oakland continues to win in clutch situations.
The Athletics haven’t been flashy by any means in 2012, and while their pitching has been one of the best in baseball it is still surprising to see them compete with an offense that ranks 30th in the majors in batting average, 27th in runs scored. Josh Reddick has led the way with a team-high .271 average, and is also the only Oakland player with more than 13 home runs at 21. However, Reddick and company have shown a knack for coming up big when it counts the most, and that ability to produce in the clutch is what has made the biggest difference with their betting numbers so far.
Trailing 4-0 through four to New York on Sunday, it seemed as though the Athletics were done. Then Brandon Inge and Kurt Suzuki hit solo home runs in the fifth to cute the deficit in half, and after another RBI from Inge in the sixth, Smith got the opportunity to tie the game with the Athletics’ third solo shot of the game. When Crisp stepped to the plate with two out in the 12th, and brought Derek Norris home with an RBI single to walk-off, both the fans and the players went crazy. If there is one thing the sports betting players will take from this result, it’s that Oakland cannot be counted out this season, especially as the continue to build momentum and confidence as the season progresses.
The last time that the A’s swept a home series of at least four games was in 1913, and according to the sportsbook numbers they are the first team to win five games by one run since the Marlins in 1999. If Oakland continues to win games, ownership could make moves at the trade deadline to improve the roster. Even more importantly, a strong finish to July will put the Athletics in position to contend for a playoff spot in 2012, something that few experts predicted before the year began. For all of odds for the AL West, check out the best online betting sites.
Up to $900 in Bonus’ for life on every deposit at A Rated Online Sportsbook Betonline.