Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros Pick 7/7/21
Oakland Athletics (49-38) vs. Houston Astros (53-33)
When: 8:10 p.m., Wednesday, July 7
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Moneyline: OAK +135/HOU -145 (Bovada - The ABSOLUTE BEST live wagering platform on the web + you receive a 50% real cash bonus up to $250!)
Runline: Athletics +1.5/Astros -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Sean Manaea (6-5, 3.13 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) vs. Luis Garcia (6-5, 3.14 ERA, 1.12 WHIP)
Pounding the Ball
When it comes to the Athletics and Astros, it’s best to just throw the caliber of the pitchers out and throw caution to the wind. For whatever reason, both of these teams know how to hit against the other one, resulting in some very high offensive numbers when they face each other. For the season, the lowest-scoring game between Oakland and Houston has featured eight runs, with most games between the two topping double digits.
Tuesday night was no exception, even though both teams sent quality pitchers to the mound in Chris Bassit and Framber Valdez. It didn’t matter. The teams had pounded out nine runs before the fourth inning was over and easily topped the total, making it the ninth time in 11 meetings between the two that the over has cashed. Of course, the two exceptions were the two games that finished with eight runs, showing that even the oddsmakers have realized that these teams are simply excellent at scoring against each other.
Hard Luck Starter
Manaea might not mind so much if he has a rough outing as long as the Athletics’ bats actually get the job done while he’s on the hill. Oakland has wasted Manaea’s past two road starts, as he’s taken the loss in both of them in large part because his team never produced anything for him. Against the Giants and Yankees, the Athletics combined to score one single run, starting a three-game losing streak for the pitcher. Manaea had nobody to blame but himself for giving up four runs to the Rangers in his most recent home start, half of the runs that Texas scored, but the A’s offense again provided little help, scoring just three runs in defeat.
When the Athletics have given Manaea real support, he’s made it count. For the season, Oakland is 8-1 in Manaea’s starts when it scores four runs and 3-5 when it gets held to three runs or less.
Here Are Three Free Passes
It’s hard to beat anyone when you’re putting guys on base, even when the opponent is the Baltimore Orioles. Garcia found that out the hard way in his most recent start, as the Birds emerged with a 5-2 win in Houston, in part because they worked out three walks in four innings and gave themselves extra opportunities to bring runs home.
Three walks isn’t a terrible number, but when you tend to pitch lower-scoring games, as Garcia does, any free base that you give up can be a killer. The walks might not be a big deal in this game because the Astros are likely to get a fair amount of support from their sizzling offense, which has scored at least four runs in five of its past eight contests. But if Houston does regress to the mean in this one, Garcia’s going to have to be better than he was the last time he took the ball. Oakland is too good to let opportunities go by, especially when it knows it likely needs every run that it can get.
- The Athletics are 3-7 in their past 10 road games.
- The Athletics are 1-5 in their past six games as an underdog.
- The Astros are 7-1 in their past eight Wednesday games.
- The Astros are 35-16 in their past 51 games at Minute Maid Park.
- The over is 5-1 in the second game of the Athletics’ past six series.
- The over is 11-1 in the Astros’ past 12 games against the AL West.
- The Astros have won nine of the past 12 meetings between the teams.
- The over is 5-0 in the teams’ past five meetings.
If the roof is left open, the wind will work in hitters’ favor, blowing south-southeast 7 miles per hour toward the center field fence. But with temperatures hovering at 79 degrees and rain in the forecast for earlier in the day, the Astros might just go ahead and close the roof.
Houston’s the better team and got off to a terrible start in the series opener, and I think the Astros make up for that here. The Astros lead the majors in runs per game, and I can’t see the Athletics slowing them down given how well these teams hit against each other. I think the Astros have to be the pick here. Bet the game FREE by depositing $100 and getting $100 free at Intertops Sportsbook when you use bonus code 21NBA100
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