The Houston Astros ride into Oakland for a meeting with the Athletics this weekend. They will play a three-game series against the Athletics before heading to Seattle for a four-game series beginning Monday. The Astros won’t be home until next week against the Orioles. They arrive in Oakland just as the Athletics have been cooling off. The A’s went on an epic run that saw them win ten straight games.
The Angels were able to bring them down to earth in their last two games. After winning the series opener, the A’s were losers in the final two games against the Angels. Oakland were sitting dead in the water before they popped up and started to go on a run. They are usually good for a hot run towards the end of the season, but often times it is too late for it to translate into an appearance in the postseason.
They have it tough in the AL West with the Astros atop the division. The Astros are a mile ahead of the Athletics with a record of 37-20. However, Oakland is currently the second best team in the division at 29-27. 2nd place doesn’t mean much when you’re that far behind, but that ten-game winning streak at least brings them into the conversation.
Houston are dealing with a plethora of injuries and recently had to put Carlos Correa on the IL. He has a cracked rib so it might be a lengthy time away for him. Along with Correa, Jose Altuve and George Springer are out for an extended period of time. Springer and Correa are both expected back in mid-July, while Altuve hopes to be back in two or three weeks. Mike Fiers will like to take advantage of a wobbled Houston offense this evening. Brad Peacock, who has been on fire, will get the call for the ‘Stros. Head below out free Astros vs. Athletics pick.
Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Pick:
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Injuries to the Astros is the opening that the rest of the AL West need to get back into the fold. With a 7.5-game lead over the Athletics, it’s been all Astros so far. If the Rangers had a little bit of pitching, they’d probably be breathing down the Astros’ neck, but their pitching staff is no threat.
This is the best chance for the Athletics to fight back and get back into the division, so this is a big series for them. They are likely going to take this weekend more seriously than the Astros. The A’s have been without Khris Davis after leaving a May 21st contest against the Indians.
Davis is not expected to be back tonight, but they’ve been surviving without a major bat in their lineup. The Astros have been dealt more than one blow on the injury front, though. Brad Peacock has shown no signs of injury, as he’s been flying through hitters at the plate of late.
Peacock has surrendered just 1 run in his previous four games. That goes across 23 innings of work for Peacock. In five of his last six outings, he has allowed 1 or less runs. His ERA in the last three games has been stellar with a 0.56 to go along with a 0.88 WHIP. The A’s are hitting .243 with 3 home runs against Peacock in 107 at-bats.
Fiers looks to take advantage of this wounded Astros team on Friday night. Kyle Hendricks silenced them for just 1 run on 4 hits in the series finale against the Cubs. Michael Brantley was the only hitter to get more than 1 hit, so just three Astros were able to get hits.
Brantley and Yuli Gurriel are going to be depended on to carry the load in the absence of Altuve, Correa, and Springer. Fiers heads in with an ERA of 3.78 and 0.93 WHIP in Oakland this season. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since April 20th against the Blue Jays. Against the B version of the Astros, look for Fiers to pitch well on Friday night. Consider a play on the UNDER at 8.5 between the Astros and Athletics on your MLB Friday card.