Houston to Break Mini Losing Streak in Oakland

astros springer

Dana Lane

Sunday, May 6, 2018 9:19 PM UTC

Sunday, May. 6, 2018 9:19 PM UTC

The Defending champions have lost four straight times at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum.

Houston Astros vs Oakland Athletics

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Free MLB Pick: AstrosBest Line Offered: at Heritage

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Pinch hit. First pitch. Tie game. @defish21 pic.twitter.com/8pkJHawfGH

— Houston Astros (@astros) May 6, 2018
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The Houston Astros (21-14, +65) have some competition in the American League this season starting with the Los Angeles Angels who are currently tied with Houston on top of the American League West standings. Despite that battle it would be foolish to disregard the Oakland Athletics (17-16, +2) sitting just three games off the pace. This series will go a long wain determining just how close Bob Melvin’s team is to the top teams in the division. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 ET/7:05 ET and can be seen on NBC Sports-California, ATT-Sportsnet-Southwest.

Starting Pitching: Houston Astros – LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-5, 3.98, 0.40 WAR)Oakland Athletics -- LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 2.84, 0.20 WAR)

A glance at the early number, courtesy of the SBR odds page, shows the Astros as a clear -150 road favorite. It’s a number that I thought may be a little high but it still sits in my range for games I’ll consider playing. Too early to see an impact from early wagering but I suspect we’ll see Astros money no matter who Melvin decides to start. Baseball betting is very much about team popularity and Houston is way more popular than Oakland so I would jump on this number now. Brett Anderson is the starter for Oakland. Anderson pitched decent in Seattle last week after being called up from the pinors to replace struggling Kendall Graveman in the rotation.

We do see some movement on the 8.5 total (-120, under). The public loves to wager ‘over’ in a game where they think a team is going to throw a guy out that isn’t an every fifth day starting pitcher. This is no different as you can find a -105, each way, now.

Houston might be even more dangerous at the plate than they were last year when they led the league in runs scored. They may not lead the league in that category this year but the effect of winning a ring is no doubt having its effect this year. Heading into Sunday Houston is averaging almost four walks a game (3.8), a big jump over last year (3.14). Opposing pitchers are challenging Astro hitters less but at the same time they’re putting themselves in a more dangerous situation because when you’re giving up four free passes a game it forces you to throw strikes because you have a runner or runners on base.

Marwin Gonzalez is a .222 hitter in the seventh spot but still has enjoyed the luxury of 17 walks in 33 games. That’s a larger per game average than Jose Altuve and George Springer. The simple reason is by the time it’s time for Gonzalez’s spot in the line-up they have guys on base forcing pitchers to nibble in an attempt to force a ground ball or a grounder to the left side.

This Astros' lineup is lethal and should be back as we expect after some lineup changes Sunday in the finale against the Diamondbacks.

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