Athletics vs. Astros Pick – MLB May 20th

Do you know who Dallas Keuchel is by this point? If you don’t, you probably haven’t been following baseball closely enough. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a casual fan you probably aren’t aware, because the media hasn’t given him all that much attention. Attention that in my opinion he certainly deserves. There were some jokes made earlier in the season that Keuchel could be a favorite for the Cy Young. It’s one of those things where you’re kidding, but not really kidding. The year is still young, but I don’t think we should be gawking at his chances of winning the Cy Young now. The way he’s been pitching, Keuchel has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. He hasn’t received the attention from the media or from odds makers much, but it hasn’t seemed to bother him much, as he continues to produce for the up-surging Astros.

Keuchel is just one of the pieces that figure to be the future of the Astros’ organization. Him alone isn’t going to carry them. Not being able to see what Brett Oberholtzer has to offer for this season hasn’t helped the Astros. He’s had one start for a 3.00 ERA. Not exactly a big enough sample size to say whether Oberholtzer is going to be a fixture with the Astros in the future or just a passerby. He can really be either, as he’s showcased being a good pitcher at times and lousy in other spots. The ‘Stros do need a couple more reliable options in the rotation to give a nice compliment for Keuchel. Today they continue their series against the Athletics, where they’re currently tied in the series after the Astros down the A’s last night. Rubber match tonight, as Jesse Hahn and Dallas Keuchel look to pick up victories for their respective teams Wednesday afternoon.

Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros

Jesse Hahn (1-3, 4.42 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (5-0, 1.87 ERA)

Keuchel will look to remain undefeated with a win against the A’s Wednesday afternoon. He also looks to build on an already stellar 1.87 ERA that puts him amongst the best pitchers in the majors. I think a lot of people aren’t giving him attention because they are expecting him to hit a wall and don’t want to feel like idiots when it happens. But I have been waiting for a long time for that wall to pop up and it doesn’t appear to be coming. Sure Keuchel will have bad starts, but I think he is going to be a consistently good pitcher for a while. To go along with his 1.87 ERA, Keuchel holds a 1.67 ERA pitching at home with a 1.07 WHIP. The A’s also struggle against lefties, where they are hitting only .214 against.

Jesse Hahn gets the call on the road today in Houston, which isn’t the best thing for the Athletics. Hahn has gotten abused away from home, posting a 5.74 ERA with a 1.60 WHIP and .352 OBP. His last three starts have indicated some trouble. Hahn got hit for a 6.48 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in those starts. Very hard to go against Keuchel given this price at home. He is better than it is indicating. I’m going to get a bit greedy here and just take them on the -1.5 to get the bonus plus price. The Athletics have been being sold too high this season, while the Astros too low, and here is yet another example.

PICK: ASTROS -1.5 (+140)