Sunday Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
Oakland took Game 2 of this series Saturday night 11-5, scoring six runs in the second inning and four more in the fourth to put the game away early. The A's won as -155 favorites on Saturday's MLB betting odds, and also, to our delight, covered on the run line.
So Oakland, which is 8-0 this season against Houston, will shoot for a sweep of the Astros when the teams meet in the series finale Sunday afternoon (2:10 pm ET).
Sunday's Betting Odds
As of Sunday AM most baseball betting outlets were listing Oakland with Bartolo Colon at around -175 betting odds over Houston with Dallas Keuchel, with the total set at nine.
Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Colon (4-2, 4.91), by our strict standards, is four-for-nine on quality starts this season. But while he got off to a very good start to this season, he hasn't been as good lately. Last time out Colon held the Rangers to two runs through seven innings, but over his previous four starts he had allowed 17 ER through 21 1/3 innings.
For the season Colon has given up 56 hits in 54 1/3 innings, walked just four and struck out 30. The A's have won six of Colon's nine starts.
Colon has already started twice against the Astros this season, and picked up two wins by allowing four ER and 12 hits through 12 innings.
Keuchel (1-1, 4.93), a lefty, is one-for-three on quality starts this season, to go along with six relief appearances. Last time out Keuchel gave up four ER in 6 2/3 innings vs. the Royals, and over his last three appearances he's allowed 10 ER over 18 1/3 innings.
On the season Keuchel has permitted 43 hits over 34 2/3 innings, walked 16 and struck out 22.
Keuchel has pitched twice against Oakland this season, allowing one ER and six hits through six innings.
The A's are 7-7 against left-handed starting pitchers this season.
Our Take on Sunday's Game
The A's would appear to be the obvious pick for Sunday's game, but Colon has been hittable recently, and Houston is actually 2-1 in Keuchel's starts this season. So in looking for a little value we'll go with the Astros for our free MLB pick for Sunday.
Saturday Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
Oakland took the first game of this series Friday night 6-5, getting a three-run homer from Chris Young in the top of the ninth to overcome a 5-3 deficit.
The A's won as -150 favorites on Friday's MLB betting line, but they couldn't cover the run and a half on the run line.
Also, Young's homer pushed Friday's game OVER its betting odds total of 8.5. These two teams are now a combined 61-34 on the totals this season.
Oakland is now 7-0 against Houston this season, and six of those seven games have gone OVER the totals.
So the A's remain 5.5 games behind first-place Texas in the AL West, while Houston, well, let's not go there, as the teams head into the middle game of this three-game series Saturday night (7:15 pm ET).
Saturday's A's-Astros Betting Lines
As of Saturday morning most baseball books were chalking Oakland with AJ Griffin at around -170 over Houston with Lucas Harrell, with the OVER/UNDER lined at 8.5.
Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
Griffin (4-3, 3.59), by our tough standards, is five-for-nine on quality starts this season. Last time out he held the Royals to three runs through six innings, and over his last four starts he's allowed seven ER through 26 2/3 innings.
For the season Griffin has given up 54 hits in 57 2/3 innings, walked 16 and struck out 44. The A's are 6-3 in Griffin's starts this season.
Griffin has one previous start this season vs. Houston, back on April 16, when he allowed two runs through six innings of a 4-3 Oakland victory.
Harrell (3-5, 4.63) is four-for-ten on quality starts this season. Most recently he held the Pirates to one run through seven innings of a 1-0 Astros loss, so that's seven times this season he's allowed two runs or fewer.
On the year Harrell has given up 63 hits in 56 1/3 innings, and his K/BB stinks, at 32/30. Houston is 3-7 in Harrell's starts this season.
Harrell has one start this season vs. the A's, and it didn't go well, as he got bombed for eight ER in less than five innings of a 9-3 Astros loss back on April 7.
Our Take on Saturday's Game
We lost a run-line bet on Oakland Friday night, but we'll dive back in on Saturday's game with the same philosophy.
Pick: Take the A's on the run line at the +107 for your baseball picks.
By: Ron Patrick
Can Oakland continue their early dominance of this series? Or can the betting odds underdog Astros take a bite out of the A's? And how might we profit from the happenings in Houston this weekend?
Friday's A's-Astros Betting Odds
Most baseball betting outlets opened Friday's game with Oakland and Tommy Milone chalked at around -145 over Houston with Erik Bedard, the OVER/UNDER proffered at 8.5. Both those numbers had held steady in the early betting.
A's-Astros Series Set-Up
Oakland just had a five-game winning streak snapped by a 3-1 loss at Texas Wednesday. A's pitching has allowed just 10 runs over their last six games.
Houston just took two of three games from Kansas City, winning Wednesday's series finale 3-1, and has actually won four of its last seven games.
So, Oakland at 25-23, sits in second place in the AL West, 5.5 games behind the division-leading Rangers, while Houston brings up the rear of its new division at 14-33.
The A's have already swept two three-game series from the Astros this season, outscoring Houston 45-19. Also, five of those six games played OVER on the totals.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Bedard (0-2, 6.00) is just one-for-seven on quality starts this season, but he's gotten better results recently. Last time out he held the Pirates to two runs through six innings, and over his last three outings he's allowed five ER through 14 1/3 innings.
On the season Bedard has given up 37 hits, including nine homers, in 33 innings, walked 15 and struck out 34. Houston is 2-5 in Bedard's starts, with the totals going 5-1.
Bedard's worst outing of this season came against Oakland back on April 15, when six of the first seven batters he faced scored in an 11-2 Astros loss.
Milone (4-5, 3.47), by our tough standards, is five-for-nine on quality starts this season, and two for his last three. Last time out he held the Royals to one run through six innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed six ER through 18 innings.
For the season Milone has given up 56 hits in 57 innings, walked 12 and struck out 49. The A's are 4-5 in Milone's starts, with the totals going 5-4.
Milone has started once this season against Houston, and got a win, allowing two ER through 6 2/3 innings of that 11-2 Oakland victory back on April 15.
In the bullpen match-up for this series A's relievers rank fourth in the Majors with a 2.79 ERA and are 10-for-14 in save opportunities, while the Astros' pen ranks dead last with a 4.90 ERA and is nine-for-17 on save opps.
A's-Astros Betting Trends
Oakland is 6-7 vs. left-handed starting pitchers this season, Houston 4-8.
These two teams are a combined 59-34 on the OVER/UNDERS this season.
The totals are also 16-8 in games played at Minute Maid Park this year.
Our Take on Friday's Game
Oakland is 6-0 vs. Houston this season; our guess is they'll make that 7-0.
Also, we like to gamble a little, so we'll pass on the chalky price and add an Oakland run-line play to our list of free MLB picks for Friday.
Bettors interested in this series should check back at this page for updates, pitching match-ups and more free picks over the weekend.