Betting Astros vs. Athletics as All-Stars Keuchel & Gray Battle

Darin Zank

Friday, August 7, 2015 12:34 PM GMT

Houston and Oakland played a thriller Thursday night, and we are excited to play Friday's MLB odds for this super pitching match-up Friday night, as All-Stars Dallas Keuchel and Sonny Gray face off. 

Astros-A's Friday Odds
As of this writing the best price we could find on Houston with Dallas Keuchel was the -114 offered at GT Bets, while Oakland and Sonny Gray were getting +107 at Heritage. Also, most of our MLB odds board listed a total on tonight's game of 6.5 runs, although there were a couple of sixes out there, too.

 

The Situation
Houston took the opener of this series Thursday night 5-4, taking a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth, allowing Oakland to force extra innings, then winning it with a run in the top of the tenth.

So the Astros have won 12 of their last 19 games, while the A's have lost 10 of their last 14 contests.

With the win Houston added a half-game to its lead over the Angels in the AL West, and picked up a game on Kansas City in the battle for the best record in the American League.

Oakland, meanwhile, still owns the worst record in the AL.

The 'Stros now lead this season series seven games to three, with the totals splitting 5-5.

 

Friday's Mound Match-Up
Gray (11-4, 2.12), by our strict standards, is 16-for-22 on quality starts this season, working on a run of three in a row. Last Sunday he held Cleveland to one run through seven innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed just three runs through 23 innings. For the season Gray has allowed 110 hits through 153 innings, posting a 131/40 strikeouts/walks ratio.

Oakland, a team that's 14 games under .500 overall, is 14-8 in Gray's starts, with the totals going 10-8.

Over four career starts against Houston, including an iffy outing back in May, Gray has allowed eight earned runs through 27 innings; the A's split those four games, as did the totals.

Keuchel (13-5, 2.35) is 15-for-22 on quality starts this season. Last Saturday he held Arizona to two runs through six innings, with eight strikeouts, which was a nice bounce-back effort, after allowing five runs through 6 2/3 innings in the start previous against Kansas City. On the season Keuchel has given up 118 hits through 157 innings, while compiling an excellent 140/37 K/BB ratio.

The Astros are 15-7 in Keuchel's starts, with the totals going 10-12.

Keuchel has started twice against Oakland this season, allowing just one unearned run and eight hits through 16 innings; Houston won both those games.

 

Friday's Batting Splits
Houston ranks 22nd in the Majors against right-handed pitching this season with a .247 team batting average , and 20th with a .309 team on-base percentage.

On the other hand Oakland ranks 22nd against left-handed pitching with a .240 batting average and 20th with a .310 team OBP.

 

Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Coliseum this season are now 29-26 on the OVERS, averaging 7.7 runs per. Thursday's game, to our chagrin, played OVER, even though the score sat at 2-1 through seven innings, and 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth.

 

Astros-A's Friday Free Picks
We'll call this pitching match-up a wash, along with battle of the bats. But Houston owns an advantage in the bullpen comparison, and just seems to be finding ways to win games, while Oakland finds ways to lose them. So we like the Astros again for our MLB picks tonight. Also, our guess is runs might be tough to come by tonight, so we're thinking UNDER.

MLB Picks: Houston and UNDER 6.5 runs (-106) at Pinnacle