The Oakland Athletics aren’t being intimidated in the least bit against the Astros in Houston this week. With one more game remaining in this series, the Athletics have a chance to win three out of four games in Houston. That’s not easy to do and it just goes to show that the A’s are determined to get into the postseason.
No one can say for certain what’s going to happen with Oakland. They are one of the more difficult teams to get a finger on in baseball. The A’s go on these nice runs against elite competition and then just as easily can regress against inferior teams the next minute.
Oakland can’t afford any regression at this point. They might be having a good time in Houston against the ‘Stros, but it doesn’t guarantee much. The A’s are clinging to a half game lead for the final wildcard in the American League going into today. A three-game winning streak in Houston and they’ll still have a lead entering the weekend. The Indians edged out the Angels in Anaheim last night to keep pace with the hot A’s.
Last night it was Brett Anderson helping on the bump for the Athletics. He was efficient in 5 innings, with just 2 earned runs allowed, while the bullpen was solid as well in relief work. After beating the Astros by a football score of 21-7 the night before, there was no letdown for them the following day.
In the last two days, they’ve outscored the Astros 26-10. If they want to avoid a series split and go for the win, the Homer Bailey and the A’s are going to have to do it against Justin Verlander on Thursday. Not an easy task, but beating the Astros twice on the road in a row isn’t easy, either. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Astros pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros Pick:
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This looks like a daunting task for the Oakland Athletics tonight. To win the series and get three out of four wins on the road in Houston, it’s going to have to happen with Homer Bailey outpitching Justin Verlander. That sounds like crazy talk, but Bailey has somehow been able to find the fountain of youth recently and turned back the clocks.
Without a decent season since 2014, Bailey has been pitching pretty well in what has basically been his last chance. Another terribly year and I couldn’t see how he would find a job in 2020. He goes into this one with a 4.87 ERA and 1.35 WHIP between the Royals and A’s. Bailey has found gold most recently and hasn’t looked this good since 2014 with the Reds. In his previous five starts, Homer has allowed 3 or fewer runs for a hot run. Can he sustain it in Houston, though?
Bailey has pitched like a different hurler on the road than at home this season, so there is a reason to pause here. While he has an ERA of 3.80 ERA and 1.28 WHIP at home, those numbers balloon to a 6.38 ERA and 1.45 WHIP on the road. The ‘Stros are hitting .321 with a .384 OBP against him in 78 at-bats. They’ve connected for 6 home runs and 16 runs. Conversely, the A’s are hitting just .218 in 165 plate appearances against JV.
Verlander heads into Thursday on fire with a 0.42 ERA and 0.47 WHIP in his last three outings. He’s allowed just 1-run in his last 21.1 innings of play. That includes a no-hitter against the Blue Jays in Toronto. JV has typically been better at Minute Maid Park, though, where he owns a 2.29 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in 94.1 innings. Despite the play by Oakland the last two days, there looks to be some value on Verlander against Homer Bailey in this spot.