A's and Astros in Low Scoring Affair on Sunday

Doug Upstone

Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:40 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 29, 2017 7:40 PM UTC

First place Houston looks to wrap series against Oakland before Texas arrives in H-Town. Those betting baseball have a bit of a more difficult choice than it appears in the series finale.

Oakland Athletics vs Houston Astros 

Oakland might be having a lousy road trip against MLB odds, but they have a good starting pitcher for Sunday, which gives them a chance.


Pitching Matchup - Hahn vs. Keuchel

Oakland has lost three of four of Jesse Hahn's (1-1) starts, but don't blame him since he has an ERA of 2.08 and his WHIP is sensational t 0.96. In those defeats, Hahn has only permitted six runs in 20 innings of work. The A's fell either from a lack of scoring (two total runs in two starts) or bullpen failure (8 runs allowed in one game). Hahn does not have overpowering stuff, but when his command is sharp be can stop opposing batters like he has with them batting .174 against him and he's been taken deep just once.

Dallas Keuchel has rebounded from so-so 2016 campaign just like many thought he would. The 29-year old left-hander is 4-0 with a minuscule 1.22 ERA and the opposition is at a lowly .175 against his tosses. Keuchel rarely breaks 90 MPH but all his pitches have excellent movement. Having a 3-to-1 K/W ratio, his command is outstanding and seldom has to give in to hitters.


A's Offense Lacks Continuity, Which is What the Astros Have

Through April 28th, Oakland was averaging 3.8 runs per contest and in their previous seven outings, they have been at 2.7 RPG. The Athletics are in the Top 5 in the AL in home runs, however, they are only 12th in on-base percentage. Because they lack plate discipline (11th in walks and 3rd in strikeouts), when they do not go deep, they do not score many runs.

Houston, on the other hand, is at 4.5 RPG, not tremendous, yet steady. What has really helped the Astros offense is maturity. In 2015 Houston was first in the AL in punch-outs and 2nd last season, but right now with a smarter approach, they are 13th in fanning and middle of the road in taking walks. The 'Stros lead the junior circuit in OBP.


Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers

The opening MLB odds had Houston as a -180 favorite with the total at 8.5. The Astros have dominated the action at Minute Maid Park with a recent 14-6 record (as of 4/29) and the UNDER is 13-7. Houston's bullpen has 2.83 ERA, with opponents hitting just .188 against them, with the Athletics at 4.33 ERA and conceding .252 BA.


The Winner Is......

I normally like the money line for my MLB picks for these articles, but since it is so high, I will choose the total which appears to have good value. In this contest, we have two excellent starters and as listed, these teams have played lower scoring games in Houston. Add in the Astros 30-14 UNDER at home versus division foes and 19-5 UNDER in their building vs. a starting pitcher with good control (less than 1.75 BB's/start), I will choose UNDER action.


Free MLB Pick: Under 8Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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