The Oakland Athletics head to Texas following a loss in the series finale against the Twins on Sunday. They were close to getting a sweep and 9th win in their previous 10 outings, but the Twins woke up in the afternoon. In any event, the A’s were still winners in two of three games to win the road series against a capable Minnesota club. That’s a good weekend for the A’s, who are in a close battle for a wildcard.
The Rays are right on their heels by just a game in the American League. Both teams have it tough over the next few days, as the Rays are playing the Red Sox and the A’s must deal with the Astros on the road. The Astros are top in the American League with a record of 64-37. However, the Yankees have the better winning percentage, as they’ve played three less games than the ‘Stros.
Houston completed a sweep of the struggling Rangers at home on Sunday afternoon. Along with defeating the Rangers in three games, they beat the Angels in two straight games prior to the weekend. The Astros will put a five-game winning streak on the line at Minute Maid with the Athletics in town tonight. They are a 7-2 ball club in their previous nine games played.
The Astros were getting sleepy about a month ago in mid-June, with seven straight losses. Since going 2-9, the Astros are 14-5 in their previous 19 matches. They are a way better team than the 2-9 record indicated, but it’s hard to go through a long schedule like this and not have any hiccups.
Houston seem to be over it and have their eyes set on earning top honors in the AL. Gerrit Cole will seek to get the Astros their sixth win in a row Monday night. Newcomer of the club, Homer Bailey, is scheduled to make his second start as an Athletic in Houston tonight. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Astros pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros Pick:
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The Royals were thrilled to be able to trade Homer Bailey to the Athletics recently. They brought him on board as a rotation filler, not really expecting to be able to work out a deal for him before the deadline. The Royals get a 23-year-old Double-A player in return, which is somewhat impressive of a return given where Bailey was the past four of five years. Bailey has been decent enough in 2019, though.
He holds an ERA of 4.69 with a 1.40 WHIP, which is serviceable to get a job in a rotation. Bailey hasn’t been too sharp on the road, though, and he faces an Astro team, who are hitting .330 with a .344 OBP against him in 30 at-bats. Not an adequate sample size, but it isn’t like Bailey has shown he can be a particularly strong pitcher over a long sample size the last five years. He heads into Houston with a 5.60 ERA and 1.53 WHIP on the road this season. Considering where he was, that’s not all that bad for him. However, it’s not going to win too many games for a club.
Bailey and the Athletics have a tall order to fulfill against Gerrit Cole this evening. The Athletics are hitting just .203 with a .265 OBP against Cole in 139 at-bats. Oakland are running into a hot Cole as well. He has allowed 2 or less runs in nine of his previous ten outings. In the one outing he did allow more than 2, that was on the road against the Rangers. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in a start at Minute Maid since May 22nd.
Cole will go into Monday night with an ERA of 2.94 and 0.92 WHIP at home this year. The ‘Stros have gone 22-5 in his last 27 starts. This is a tricky spot for the A’s on the road, as they play their fourth game in a row as a visiting club. The Astros are one of the best in baseball at home, with a record of 36-14, while the A’s are just 26-23 on the road. Look at the Astros on the runline Monday night at Minute Maid Park.