Zack Greinke (0-0, 5.00 ERA) vs. Chris Bassitt (1-0, 0.93 ERA)
The Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics will get their three-game series started on Friday night in California. The Astros are coming off back-to-back losses against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with losses of 14-7 and 5-4. Their touchdown win was a smackdown on Lance McCullers, who clearly hasn’t looked the same after returning from injury.
McCullers Jr. was exploited for 7 hits and 8 earned runs in 3.2 innings of work. He doesn’t look ready to be pitching in the majors. The Diamondbacks were ice cold at the plate before meeting with McCullers.
They chased McCullers out of the game early, while the ‘Stros got a much better starting performance from Brandon Bielak the next night. However, reliever Cy Sneed did enough to make sure that the Astros were losing another game.
As soon as Bielak was removed from the game after giving up just 2 hits and no runs, Sneed was hammered for 3 hits and 3 earned runs in less than an inning of work. The Diamondbacks scored 3 runs in the 6th which ultimately ended up being the difference for a 5-4 win.
Also helping was a blown save by Stefan Crichton. Crichton was touched up for 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to blow a 4-3 lead. Brutal loss by the Astros, which pushes them to 6-6 on the season. They certainly don’t look like a contender, and likely still not focused after what transpired in the offseason.
With Justin Verlander out of the rotation, and McCullers doing absolutely nothing, the Astros are a fairly average team at the moment. There is a big responsibility on Zack Greinke to grab the horns and get into red-hot mode.
So far it hasn’t been that good for Greinke, though he was in better form in his most recent outing compared to his 2020 debut. Greinke is scheduled to get the nod in Oakland tonight, while Chris Bassitt will look to protect the home field. Head below for our free Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics pick for August 7, 2020.
Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Prediction:
Zack Greinke got off to a rough start in 2020. He allowed 4 hits and 3 earned runs against the Seattle Mariners on July 26. That was not a good look for Greinke, as he left the game with an ERA of 8.10 after 3.1 innings of work. Greinke was able to bring his ERA down to 5.00 in his next performance, though. He was better with 3 hits and 2 earned runs surrendered in 5.2 innings.
The Angels hit .212 against Greinke. We’ve seen him pitch better in the past, but that’s a good sign moving forward. Greinke retired 16 straight Angels at one point, as he was getting into a groove. He’s played well against the A’s in previous matchups.
They’re hitting .201 with 2 long balls in 58 at-bats versus Greinke. After shaking off the rust from his lackluster debut this season, I think Greinke will continue to get sharper. His counterpart on the other side, Chris Bassitt, has been on fire through his first two outings.
Bassitt has gone 9.2 innings between two games against the Angels and Mariners. He held them to just 1 earned run, with the Mariners scoring a run, but no more than that. The Angels managed to record only 5 hits, while the Mariners were held to 3 hits against Bassitt. He heads into Friday with a 0.93 WHIP.
Bassitt has been serviceable for the A’s over the last two years. He posted an ERA of 3.02 and 3.81 in 2018 and 2019. The ‘Stros are hitting .247 in 89 at-bats against Bassitt, so he’s been able to keep them in check. George Springer and Jose Altuve are the only Astros to go deep on Bassitt.
Note that Springer is out for a few days with an injured wrist. That’s a big bat out of the lineup, as Springer has connected for 2 home runs in 11 at-bats against Bassitt. I lean towards a low-scoring game here, so the UNDER at 9 looks like a good deal.