Athletics-Astros MLB Picks: Teams Headed in Opposite Directions

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, May 18, 2015 2:51 PM GMT

Monday, May. 18, 2015 2:51 PM GMT

Tonight’s Top MLB Play is of the "Perception/Reality" variety, featuring a huge value price on a pair of teams headed opposite directions. When you take advantage, it will lead you to the winner’s circle!

Oakland A’s (Pomeranz) vs. Houston Astros (McCullers) (-120) 8:10 ET
Houston hosts Oakland in the first of a 3-game set at Minute Maid Park, Monday night at 8:10 pm ET with the NBA odds total set at 8.5.  When these two teams faced each other in a 3-game set, beginning Monday, April 13th, Oakland took 2 of 3 in this ballpark.  Shortly thereafter, Houston began a 14-1 surge, which included a 3-game set at Oakland in which they scored 21 runs, sweeping the A’s.  What a difference a year makes!  Last season on this date, Oakland led Houston by 12 games in the standings.  This year, it is Houston who is leading the AL West by 5 ½ games at 25-13.  That is good for a 12 ½ game lead over an Oakland team who is 13-26 with the worst record in baseball.  Tonight, the Astros look to make it 5 straight over the A’s behind minor league sensation, McCullers, against a struggling Oakland team and Pomeranz.

In the previous 3 seasons, Oakland won a total of 278 games, the most in MLB in that stretch.  But, the win total drifted from 96 in 2013 to 88 in 2014 with another downward projection for this season.  Though the record has been horrendous, it is a bit confusing, considering that Oakland is 14th best in team OPS at .720 and 7th best in team pitching with a .671 OPS.  But, the A’s have kicked the ball all over the lot, as numerous and untimely errors have contributed to their demise.  They enter today on a slide of 1-10, losers of 4 straight, after being swept at home by a poor traveling Chicago White Sox team.  Sending Pomeranz to the hill may not cure their ills.  He did pitch a solid game in his previous outing, working 7 IP allowing 1 run on 3 hits in a 9-2 victory.  But that was against a weak-hitting Boston team, who has a surprisingly low .671 OPS.  Pomeranz has twice faced Houston this year, allowing 9 runs in 10+ IP as the A’s dropped both of those games on the scoreboard.  Pomeranz has made 4 road starts this season, going 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA. 

The upwardly mobile Houston Astros went from 51 to 70 wins last season.  Their 25 victories lead the majors.  This is a young team, with every position player 29 years of age or younger.  As a result, they have been predictably streaky.  After a 4-6 start, the Astros reeled off a 14-1 streak, and then they went 2-6 before responding with their current 5-0 record.  Tonight, they send minor league sensation, McCullers, to the mound.  In 6 outings at AA Corpus Christi, McCullers worked 29 IP, allowing 2 runs on 15 hits for a 0.62 ERA while posting 43 Ks.  

We place our MLB picks based on the momentum of 2 teams headed opposite directions at what appears to be a huge value price.

MLB Pick: Astros -118 at Pinnacle Sports

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