Jesus Luzardo (3-2, 4.12 ERA) vs. Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.73 ERA)
The Oakland Athletics are in a tough spot in the ALDS in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. They need three straight wins to advance to the ALCS. The entire world has been rooting against the Houston Astros this season, but they might have something to say about that with a chance to go to the World Series in Arlington. Major League Baseball intends to have fans in Arlington, so the Astros might have a nice advantage playing in Texas if they do beat the Athletics and then win the ALCS.
The series is not over yet. The Astros must keep their composure and put the Athletics away. It wouldn’t take much for the Astros to slip up and give the Athletics some momentum. All it could take is one inning to flip the series around in the other direction. In other words, the Astros must keep their foot on the throat of the Athletics.
It would be something if the Dodgers and Astros end up meeting in the World Series. The World Series isn’t the time to intentionally hit batters at the plate, but I’m sure it would cross the Dodgers’ pitchers minds on the bump. If the Astros go on to win the World Series, you might want to stay away from their fans for a while. After all they’ve heard for the last several months is that the Astros can’t win without cheating, it would be a nice opportunity for them to fire back.
There is a long way to go for the ‘Stros, though. They made easy work of the Twins, and are in control of the ALDS in Los Angeles, but there’s still work left to be done. In their most recent win, the Astros were 5-2 winners behind a solid performance from Framber Valdez. Valdez pitched 7 innings with 5 hits and 2 earned runs allowed.
Sean Manaea of the Athletics was chased out of the game after conceding 5 hits and 4 earned runs in 4.1 innings. George Springer did the most damage, as he connected for two home runs to lead the Astros’ offense. A couple of mistakes by Manaea did the A’s in on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. Rookie Jesus Luzardo must avoid mistakes on Wednesday, or his team is likely done for 2020.
Zack Greinke was scheduled to get the starting nod today, but is dealing with arm soreness. 25-year-old Jose Urquidy will get to see the hill as the starting pitcher instead. Not a bad Plan B for the Astros. Urquidy has been a solid option for the Astros in 2020. Head below for our free Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros pick for October 7, 2020.
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros Game 3 Betting Odds:
Athletics vs. Astros Game 3 Prediction:
With Justin Verlander injured early this season, the Astros have needed to get help from others on their pitching staff. Jose Urquidy and Framber Valdez answered the call for the Astros. After Valdez was sharp on Tuesday, Urquidy has an opportunity to do the same today.
The rookie, who got light work in 2019, has been underappreciated in the ‘Stros rotation. He appeared in four games last season in the postseason, having posted an ERA of 0.90 and 1.10 WHIP through 10 innings.
In his first taste of playoff baseball, Urquidy gave up just 1 earned run. He had one start and three relief appearances for the Astros in 2019. This spot on Wednesday shouldn’t be too big for Urquidy. He made a start against the Twins in the previous round and pitched well. The Twins registered just 2 hits and 1 earned run in 4.1 frames.
Urquidy received the nod for five starts in the regular season this year. He handled his work well, as Urquidy recorded an ERA of 2.73 and 1.01 WHIP through 29.2 innings. Note that he didn’t concede more than 2 earned runs in any of his outings. That includes a solid effort against the A’s on September 10. The A’s managed just 2 hits and 2 earned runs in 6 innings versus Urquidy.
Jesus Luzardo is expected to be the future of the Athletics’ rotation. However, he took his lumps as a rookie this season, though there were some good moments. Luzardo notched a 4.12 ERA and 1.27 WHIP through 12 games. Most concerning of all was his production outside of Oakland. Luzardo was tagged for a 8.15 ERA and 1.87 WHIP on the road.
Luzardo fell victim to the long ball in 53 at-bats versus the Astros. He held them to a .183 batting average, though the power numbers were good for Houston. The Astros connected for 5 home runs and 4 RBI in those showings at the dish.
Conversely, the A’s are hitting just .075 with 2 home runs in 31 at-bats against Urquidy. They have reached base at a clip of .145 against Urquidy. The only reasons I see supporting the A’s here is that they’re “due”, and perhaps the Astros take their foot off the gas after cruising in Game 1 and 2. However, that’s not enough for me to back the Athletics. I will go with the Astros to win and sweep on Wednesday.