Oakland A’s MLB Betting Odds with Return of Barry Zito
Last week, the Triple-A Nashville Sounds sent up a lefthanded pitcher to the major league club – the Oakland Athletics. Of course, this call-up is a little older than the usual minor leaguer, as he is 37. He also has a Cy Young Award in his trophy case after a 23-5 season in 2002 for the A’s.
So who is this? The great Barry Zito, who MLB betting fans should remember as the guy who pitched in Oakland from 2000-06, collecting 102 wins with an overall ERA of 3.53. Zito had thought that his playing career had come to an end when the Sounds’ season ended. However, A’s general manager Billy Beane gave him a call lst week and asked him if he wanted to pitch in the major leagues one more time.
In Depth Analysis on the Oakland A’s MLB Betting Odds with Return of Barry Zito
Zito spent 2014 out of baseball but tried to make the major league club in Oakland during spring training. The team assigned him to Nashville, where he went 8-7 in 22 starts with a 3.46 ERA. He struck out 91 batters in 138 innings. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Zito is only with the major league club for relief appearances and will not start any games as the 2015 season winds down.
The last time Zito pitched in an A’s uniform, he was playing in the 2006 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers, who beat the A’s to go to the world Series. During that offseason, he signed a deal worth $126 million over seven years with the San Francisco Giants. When that contract ended, so did his major league pitching time.
The A’s do host the Giants on September 26, and Zito could end up on the mound opposite former A’s teammate Tim Hudson. Along with Mark Mulder, these two were the A’s “Big Three.” Hudson will retire at the end of the 2015 campaign, and Zito might do the same.
As Oakland manager Bob Melvin told ESPN, “It’s gonna be great to bring Zito home and get him in games in our place in front of our crowd. They love him there. Particularly when we play the Giants, it’s gonna be a really exciting weekend. It’s really gonna add to that having him there.”
The A’s also brought up Cody Martin from Nashville.
When Barry Zito returns to Oakland, he will be going back to the place where he pitched the best in his career. He went to three all-star games and has the franchise’s best second highest strikeout per batter rate since the A’s moved to Oakland in 1968. He has almost a strikeout for every five batters. The only pitcher with a higher rate is Rollie Fingers, who is now in the Hall of Fame.
Zito got a huge contract from San Francisco but could not replicate his success there. He led the National League in losses in 2008 and never won over 15 games there. His career ERA climbed by over a run during his seven years in San Francisco. Zito does find it fitting to consider ending his career in the same uniform where he started it.