Houston Astros vs. Oakland A’s Preview and Pick
by Darin, MLB Handicapper, Predictem.com
The champion Astros are getting hot again, and doing it on the road, picking up a series-opening victory in Oakland Tuesday night. Do we ride Houston with our free MLB picks on Wednesday night’s contest?
Most MLB betting odds opened Houston and Gerrit Cole at around -160 over Oakland and Paul Blackburn, with an over/under of eight runs. Early betting action then bumped that line about a dime, to the -170 range. As you probably already know, because we’re always tooting this horn, the lowest odds for favs and juiciest underdog lines can always be found at 5Dimes. Stop pissing away your heard earned money and start betting smart TODAY! You will be SO glad you took the 10 minutes to make the change!
The Astros took the opener of this three-game series Tuesday night 6-3, winning as -145 favorites and covering against the run line at +110. Houston fell behind 1-0 in the first inning Tuesday but put up a four spot in the second and rode home from there.
That game also snuck over a total of 8.5 when Oakland scored a run in the bottom of the eighth.
Houston now leads this season series six games to one, outscoring the A’s 50-20. Also, the overs are 4-2-1, as those seven meetings have averaged 10 runs per.
The Astros have won six games in a row, the last five on the road. Houston has also played eight overs in their last 10 games, mainly because they’re scoring 5-6-7 runs on a regular basis.
Oakland is 6-5 over its last 11 games, and yet it’s only scored a total of 32 runs over its last nine contests, and six over its last three.
At 43-25 Houston trails first-place Seattle by a half-game in the AL West, while at 34-33 Oakland trails by nine.
On the personnel front, Houston received good news Tuesday with the return of SS Carlos Correa, who had missed recent action with an injury. He went 2-for-4 Tuesday night, walked once, knocked in a run and scored twice.
Wednesday’s Starting Pitchers
Blackburn (1-0, 1.50) is making his second start of this season, after doing time on the DL with a forearm injury. Last Thursday he held Kansas City to one run and three hits through six innings of a 4-1 A’s win. And he only needed 67 pitches to get 18 outs.
Last year as a rookie Blackburn went 4/10 on quality starts, and Oakland went 6-4 in his starts.
This will be Blackburn’s first-ever start against Houston.
Cole (7-1, 2.16) is an impressive 12/13 on quality starts this year, and four for his last four. Last Thursday he held Texas to one run and three hits through six innings, and over his last four starts he’s allowed nine runs through 26 innings. He gave up six home runs over his previous four outings, but none last Thursday.
Cole has proven to be a great investment as the ‘Stros have “gotten it done” in his starts, winning 11 of the 13 games he’s appeared in.
In two starts this year against Oakland, Cole has allowed four runs and 13 hits + walks through 12 2/3 innings, with 21 whiffs. Houston won those games by scores of 8-4 and 4-1.
Wednesday’s Batting Splits
Houston ranks 10th in the Majors this year against right-handed pitching with a .252 team batting average, 5th with a .326 team OBP and 15th with a .412 team slugging percentage.
Oakland ranks 17th against RH pitching with a .245 BA, 14th with a .316 OBP and 6th with a .421 slugging percentage.
We’ll give the Astros a short edge with the sticks for Wednesday.
The Houston bullpen ranks 4th in the ML with a 2.94 ERA and 1st with a 1.11 WHIP. Also, that pen only had to pitch two innings Tuesday night.
The A’s pen ranks 8th in ERA at 3.47 and 14th in WHIP at 1.32. But it had to throw 4 1/3 innings last night.
The Astros own the edge in the bullpen comparison, too.
My Pick to Win the Game
Nine of Houston’s 11 wins with Cole this year have come by at least two runs, and that’s good enough for us. We’re betting the Astros here against the run line. Bet the Astros/A’s game for FREE by taking advantage of a HUGE 100% REAL CASH bonus by signing up through this special link: GTBETS!