After scoring a plethora of runs yesterday I am anticipating a more low-scoring affair today between the Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics.
MLB odds makers came out with a total of seven for this matchup but I think that is a touch on the high side. The higher juice across the board is on taking the under, but you can still get reasonable odds at Pinnacle Sports at -115. These are two pitchers who have had quality seasons and I look for both of them to have stellar performances today.
Scott Kazmir gets the call for Houston and comes in with a 2.50 ERA, 1.12whip, 142 strikeouts, and a 7-9 record between his time with Oakland and Houston. He had a rough outing in mid August against Tampa Bay allowing six earned runs in just five innings. In his other seven starts for the Astros he has only allowed nine total earned runs. Although his home numbers are better his away numbers are respectable with a 3.26 ERA, but today he should feel at home pitching back where he started the season in Oakland.
Houston ranks ninth in runs scored per game at 4.35, ninth in OPS at .731, but 29th in team batting average hitting just .244. Most of their offensive statistics go down on the road although they had a solid day yesterday with three home runs. Today though I think they are in a pretty tough spot facing a pitcher who is looking to bounce back from his last outing in Gray. Don't anticipate the Astros to have as many good swings today as they did yesterday.
Sonny Gray takes the mound with a 2.36 ERA, 1.00 whip, 152 strikeouts, and a 12-7 record. He is coming off of arguably his worst outing of the year in which he allowed six earned runs off of eight hits in just five innings against the Los Angeles Angels. As well he is 0-3 in his last three decisions so he should have some extra motivation to get a win. Even with that bad outing at home against Los Angeles his numbers pitching in Oakland are still respectable within ERA of 3.02 and batters hitting just .208 against him. I look for Gray to be extremely focused today and pitch one of his better ballgames of the season.
Oakland ranks 17th in runs scored per game at 4.15, 23rd in OPS at .703, and 15th in batting average hitting .254 as a team. Across the board their statistics stay pretty even whether they're traveling or at home. They rank at the bottom of the American League in OPS against left-handers at .701 with an on base percentage of just .320.
For my MLB pick of the day for totals I really like for both of these pitchers to have a quality start and keep the runs to a minimum. I suggest backing the under when these two teams meet up today and look for a final of around 3-1.