Game 3 of the ALDS will be played in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon between the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. If Houston comes away with a victory in this contest, they will advance to the American League Championship Series in what would be seen as the most surprising sweep of the postseason.
The Astros moneyline is set at -125, and Oakland’s is +108. The over/under for runs scored is set at 9. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:35 P.M. Eastern on TBS.
Because of the MLB’s “Bubble” plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams will not have to travel, either in this current series or for the ALCS.
A’s Trying to Stay Alive
Oakland is struggling to get their team going. The usually reliable bullpen has been letting them down, while their offense hasn’t been able to come through as they needed. The A’s finished the year with a 36-24 record, seven games ahead of Houston in the division, but a loss here would end their season.
Bullpen consistency looked to make Oakland a tough out, sealing so many close wins for the A’s in the regular season. They have five relievers with a sub-3.00 ERA (four with a sub-2.00 ERA), but in the ALDS, they haven’t been able to deliver, allowing eight runs (four unearned) in 9.2 innings.
Jake Diekman was the go-to reliever, allowing just one run in 21.1 innings, putting him among the top relief pitches in baseball. However, Oakland’s offense consistently failed to deliver. Among everyday players, Tony Kemp’s .247 average is the best on the team. Not a good year there.
To keep their season alive, the A’s will hand the ball to 22-year-old Jesús Luzardo. He posted a 4.12 ERA in 12 appearances (nine starts), striking out 59 and walking 17 in 59 innings pitched.
Houston Looks to Punch Ticket to ALCS
The Astros lost two of their top three starting pitchers from last year, with Gerrit Cole leaving in free agency and Justin Verlander needing Tommy John surgery. They also had to make a managerial change in the wake of their 2017 World Series cheating scandal.
As Baseball’s most controversial team, the Astros finished the regular season with a sub-.500 record, but Houston keeps pushing. Their young starting rotation is getting it done for them, with Ryan Pressly closing out nicely.
Despite the talk all offseason, knowing they would be the least popular team in baseball, the playoff Astros are back. The cheating has stopped (as far as we know), and the winning has continued.
Alex Bregman has been hitting the ball well, as has Carlos Correa, and their young starting rotation has been fantastic for them. Other than Zack Greinke (36), none of Houston’s starting pitchers are older than 26. They found a way to rebuild their staff quickly, and it has paid dividends.
Jose Urquidy will make his sixth start of the season. He posted a 1-1 record with a 2.73 ERA in 29 2/3 innings of work. Urquidy has struck out 17 and walked eight.
Not Done Yet
Both teams’ bats cooled a bit in Game 2. Game 3 will be a low-scoring game as well (bet the under), but the A’s will survive. The Series isn’t done just yet. Oakland will get to Urquidi early, hand the bullpen a lead, and watch them hold it.
FREE PLAY: OAK +108
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