Here’s our report on 2021 Athletics Win Total Bet: How Many Games Oakland Will Win, complete with a 2021 Athletics Wins Over/Under. The Game Day takes a dive into offseason acquisitions and losses to determine potentially profitable win total betting odds.
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2021 Athletics Win Total Bet: How Many Games Will Oakland Win?
2021 Athletics Wins Over/Under
- Over 86.5 wins (-112)
- Under 86.5 wins (-112)
The Athletics relied heavily on strong top-to-bottom pitching to overcome some hitting deficiencies in 2020 and take the AL West title with a 36-24 record. Oakland’s staff finished in the top 10 in ERA (3.77), FIP (4.02) and strand rate (75.6 percent), while former closer Liam Hendriks was near perfect with 14 saves in 15 chances, a 1.78 ERA and an 0.67 WHIP.
That caliber of performance helped offset a pedestrian team .225/.322/.396 line, .171 ISO and -11.1 wRAA, The A’s also displayed a penchant for timely hitting by ranking in the top 10 with an average of just 3.2 runners per game left in scoring position.
The overarching questions for manager Bob Melvin’s squad in 2021 are therefore whether: A) The starting rotation, unchanged from last season and possibly set to benefit from the eventual inclusion of talented but oft-injured A.J. Puk, can reprise or exceed their 2020 efforts; and B) Whether several hitters that had down years in the shortened 2020 campaign – sluggers Matt Olson and Matt Chapman among them – bounce back to deliver the type of numbers they’d previously proven capable of.
We’ll start with the five arms currently projected to open games – Frankie Montas, Jesus Luzardo, Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers. On paper, the staff shapes up as an ideal blend of youth and experience, with Fiers, who posted a solid 6-3 mark in his age-34 season a year ago, the old man of the group, and an excellent fifth starter.
Luzardo is considered ready for a full breakout season after displaying plenty of promise in his first two big-league stints. Bassitt and Manaea are proven young veterans that will have their occasional hiccups, but that also project for double-digit wins if health is on their side. That leaves Montas as arguably the biggest wild card of the quintet. The hard-throwing right-hander slumped to a 5.60 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 2020 (11 starts) after back-to-back strong seasons. His ability to approach the near-dominant level he often achieved during his 9-2 season in 2019 will be integral to the team’s success.
In the bullpen, there is also plenty riding on Trevor Rosenthal, signed earlier in February on a one-year deal to replace Hendriks in the ninth-inning role. The rocket-armed right-hander’s career trajectory has been an interesting one, as Rosenthal was one of the most dominant closers in baseball with 93 saves across the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the Cardinals. The dreaded Tommy John surgery eventually cost him the 2018 campaign after a couple of down years, but he re-emerged as a game-ending force last season in San Diego and Kansas City with 11 saves across 12 chances.
At the plate, the Athletics notably let franchise stalwart Marcus Semien walk in free agency and traded away the once-prodigious Khris Davis. They have a potentially seamless replacement for Semien in Elvis Andrus, however, who they got back from the Rangers in the Davis trade after an injury-hampered 2020. Mitch Moreland was also inked just before spring training to add another rock-solid veteran bat with some power that can fill the designated hitter role that Davis used to occupy.
The aforementioned two “Matts” – Olson and Chapman – might ultimately hold the key to the offense maximizing its potential. Olson worked on tweaking his swing over the offseason after slumping to a .195 average across 245 plate appearances last season. If he’s able to get his average back into the .250-.260 range while once again approaching the 30-homer mark at minimum, Oakland’s offense should take a major step forward.
Meanwhile, Chapman reportedly feels back to 100 percent after surgery to correct a labrum tear in his hip that robbed him of his ability to push off and drive the ball a year ago. The Gold Glove third baseman averaged 30 home runs and 79.5 RBI over the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and if he’s able to get back to that level, it would naturally represent another significant boost for the team’s offensive fortunes.
2021 Athletics Win Total Wager: Over 86.5 wins (-112)
The Athletics will undoubtedly be in the thick of things late into September if they enjoy relatively good health, as there are simply too many talented arms and bats on this team, not to mention an excellent coaching staff supporting them.
Nevertheless, Oakland will have plenty to get through in its division schedule alone, with what appears to be a resurgent Astros team, a talented Angels club and a Mariners squad that could really see its youth movement start to blossom this season. There are also some question marks still surrounding Rosenthal after only one partial comeback season, although Oakland does have a deep, versatile bullpen overall.
Ultimately, I see the A’s doing enough to getting to at least 87 victories if the injury bug is mostly kept at bay, even though I do think they will have a hard time crossing the 90-win threshold.
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