The Houston Astros did what good teams do following a tough loss. They responded with a big 8-2 win on Saturday to tie up the three-game series. The A’s were able to keep pace with the Astros with a 5-4 win over the Rangers, but keeping pace is not going to be good enough at this point.
The Athletics are 8 games back, which might be too far to mount a comeback. Houston have hovered around this mark pretty well all season with a sizable gap between them and 2nd in the AL West.
They’re likely going to be able to cruise in August and September to a divisional crown.
For the A’s, they have their eyes set on locking in a wildcard at the least. The Astros head into Sunday with a record of 2-2 in their last four games. Despite a loss yesterday, the Cardinals have won six of their last seven games.
A six-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday in St. Louis. In any event, the Cards have been one of the best teams in the majors over the past few weeks. They are still 12-3 in their last 15 games and have taken the NL Central by storm.
Things are a lot more interesting in the NL Central than the AL West. The Cards are ahead by just a game over the Brewers and Cubs. Milwaukee won their second in a row against the Cubs in similar fashion. The Cubs blew a lead twice, including a lead in extra innings to digest a 5-3 loss Saturday night at Miller Park.
Pedro Strop was nowhere to be found, but it was the same result for the Cubs’ bullpen. Even Craig Kimbrel got into the fun with a blown save opportunity. The Cardinals are not complaining. The ‘Stros will look to make it two in a row in St. Louis on Sunday with Wade Miley at the controls.
Miley has proven to be a valuable acquisition by the Astros. No Charlie Morton any longer, but Miley has done a solid job filling the void. The Cards will counter with first-year member of the rotation, Dakota Hudson. Get the rest of our free writeup and Astros vs. Cardinals pick below.
Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals Pick:
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Wade Miley was coming off a solid campaign in 16 starts with the Brewers and the Astros had a void to fill with Charlie Morton going elsewhere for more money. The Astros handed Miley less money than they would have had to pay Morton and are getting similar results. That’s what you call getting solid value. Miley goes into Sunday coming off a 4-3 loss against the Athletics. He was good, though, with only 4 hits and 2 earned allowed in 8 innings of play. Note that Miley hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in a start since June 22nd against the Yankees.
He’d rather be pitching at home, where he’s been ultra effective with an ERA of 1.92 and 0.96 WHIP in Houston. His arm is likely going to be a weapon in the postseason. However, his numbers have dipped off from that on the road, as he’s posted an ERA of 4.27 and 2.14 WHIP.
Not terrible, but Miley falls off quite a bit when heading on the road vs at Minute Maid. His effort against the Cardinals in his career hasn’t been the best, either. The Cards are hitting .330 with a .408 OBP against Miley in 106 at-bats. There are several guys in this lineup that have had a keen eye for his pitches.
Dakota Hudson is on a four-game winning streak with wins over the Pirates, Reds, Diamondbacks, and Giants. Also, the Cardinals are 11-1 in the last twelve games that Hudson has toed the rubber. It can’t get much better than that. Hudson has been productive at home, posting a 2.94 ERA in 52 innings of work. May 12th is the last day that the Cards have lost at home with Hudson starting. Getting +117 on the home team on Sunday in St. Louis looks like good value.