Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics Betting Preview

Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics Betting Preview

The Houston Astros will look to stay raging hot when they begin a three-game series on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics. On the road, the Astros are heavy favorites with a moneyline of -190 compared to Oakland’s moneyline of +160. Friday’s game also has an over/under of 7.5 total runs.

Houston is already running away with the AL West, with the lead seemingly growing by the day. The Astros are 6-1 in July and 9-1 over their last ten games. That puts them 13 games ahead of Seattle for first place in the AL West, with the Astros also starting to gain ground on the Yankees for the best record in the American League.

Meanwhile, the A’s sit at the bottom of the AL West and have the worst record in the majors. Ironically, the A’s are 3-3 in July and won a series against the Blue Jays earlier this week. However, they still have twice as many losses as wins and have an atrocious 10-29 record at home this season.

Sweet Silver Lining

The good news for Oakland is that Paul Blackburn is scheduled to start on Friday. He’s been the team’s ace this season, going 6-3 with a 2.90 ERA over his first 16 starts. Unfortunately, even with Blackburn pitching consistently well for much of the season, the A’s have still lost six of his last seven starts.

Part of Blackburn’s problem has been a lack of run support from Oakland’s lineup. Even with the A’s going 3-3 in their last six games, they are averaging just 2.7 runs per game during that span. Sean Murphy and Ramon Laureano are the only Oakland hitters who are in a groove at the moment, while Laureano is the team’s only regular with an OPS over .700 on the season.

Winning with Everyone

It’s hard to find any weakness in Houston’s rotation these days, including Jose Urquidy, who will start on Friday. In 15 starts this year, Urquidy is 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA. In fact, in his last three starts, Urquidy has pitched at least six innings while allowing just one run, conceding just seven total hits over those 19 innings.

Meanwhile, Houston’s lineup has been red-hot since the calendar turned to July, averaging 6.6 runs per game. Yordan Alvarez has put his name into the MVP conversation with his 26 homers and 1.075 OPS. The likes of Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, and Jake Myers are also scorching hot at the moment, while the Astros have hit 18 home runs over the team’s last six games.

Sure Thing

There is no such thing as a sure thing in baseball, but this game is close. Even Blackburn isn’t likely to be able to slow down Houston’s red-hot lineup, and even if he does, there is little reason to believe that the A’s can do much offensively. Bet on the Astros to both win and cover the spread against the A’s on Friday.

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