The Oakland Athletics will host the Houston Astros for a three game series this week at Oakland Coliseum. The A’s currently find themselves in fourth place in the AL West Division, trailing the Mariners, Astros, and Angels. The Astros were expected to run away with the division title in 2018, but are facing stiff competition from the surprising Seattle Mariners.
The Astros have outscored the Athletics 44-17 in their six previous meetings this season, winning the last five matchups. Houston has the highest run differential of any team in baseball this season. The Athletics find themselves right in the middle of the pack, and the next month will determine their fate at the trade deadline. The Houston Astros are -170 against the Athletics in game two of the series.
Cole Looks to Shut Down A’s
Gerrit Cole will make the start for the Astros against the Athletics on Wednesday night. Cole has been brilliant so far in his first season with the Astros. Cole is 7-1 and sports a very good 2.16 earned run average, which ranks third in the American League. Cole hopes to continue his hot start against the rival Athletics.
George Springer is the player that gets the deadly Houston Astros offensive attack going. Springer leads the team in both home runs (14) and runs batted in (41). Springer sets the table for Houston, but also provided plenty of pop in his bat. The Astros look ready to make a run at another World Series title.
Athletics Send Young Pitcher to Mound
The Oakland Athletics will counter by sending young Paul Blackburn to the mound to oppose Cole. Blackburn will be making just his second start this season, but looked good in his first outing in 2018. Blackburn has a tough challenge facing the relentless Astros offense.
Veterans, Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis, have been the best offensive players for the A’s so far this season. Lowrie leads the team in batting average and on base percentage, and Davis is the big bat in the Oakland lineup. The A’s need more of their role players to step up to provide offense if they want to make a run at the AL West title.
Astros Defeat Oakland
The Astros were the heavy favorites to repeat as AL West Champions, but they are in a dogfight with the Seattle Mariners. Houston knows that they need to beat the teams they should beat in order to keep up the pace that Seattle is setting. Oakland is one of these teams, and the Astros should be thinking sweep this week in California.
The Athletics have played decent baseball so far this season, but face a tough test with the Astros coming to town. Oakland hopes that their young righty can pitch well in his second start of the season, but their bats need to come alive to support him. Oakland doesn’t appear to have the lineup capable of presenting a threat to Cole, or to the Astros. Bet the Houston Astros -170 over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
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