Young Pitchers Bring Few Runs In A's vs Astros

Oakland Athletics vs Houston Astros Odds

Charles Stark

Saturday, July 9, 2016 5:49 PM GMT

Two solid young starters take the mound today when the Athletics visit the Astros. Odds makers have come out with a pretty high total for this game. Can these two young pitchers have quality starts today?

The MLB Odds have come out with the total for this game at 8.5 like at Pinnacle Sports -102. I like both of these young pitchers that are getting the start today and look for them to keep the damage to a minimum.  For my MLB Pick I will back under the total,  along with the good young arms starting both offenses can struggle to consistently put runs across the plate at times.

 

Oakland Athletics
Kendall Graveman takes the mound for Oakland and comes in with a 4.57 ERA and 1.50 whip with Oakland hitting just .250 as a team which ranks 20th in the major leagues. The high total set by odds makers today makes some sense when we look a bit closer at Graveman, especially his statistics on the road where he holds an ERA just under 6.00.

On top of that fact is that the last time he pitched here at Houston in the beginning of June he got knocked around for five earned runs off of seven hits in just four innings. All that being said though for me this puts him in a good bounce back spot to come back to Houston and pitch a good game. On even closer look those five earned runs he gave up was his worst start in his last 10 games and in four out of his last five games he has only given up five total earned runs spanning 22 innings.

He also should come in with some confidence with his last start particularly strong giving up just one earned run and three hits in just over six innings at Minnesota. At the plate there is not a lot to be enthusiastic about with Oakland as they rank in the middle to the bottom of the league in most categories. Currently they rank 24th in runs scored per game and total bases, along with ranking 27th in OPS.

 

Houston Astros
Lance McCullers gets the start for Houston and comes in this season with a 3.57 ERA and 1.57 whip. Like Graveman, McCullers is coming off one of his best starts of the season allowing just one earned run off a five hits in seven innings along with 10 strikeouts. Houston is high on this 22-year-old and for good reason because he can be lights out at times.

In his last three starts he has given up just four total earned runs in 19 innings, and in his last 10 games he's only had two tough starts one at Boston and the other at Tampa Bay. At home he has been particularly tough with a 2.17 ERA along with a 3-1 record and batters hitting just .236 against him and the last time he faced Oakland at home in early June he pitched well allowing two earned runs in seven innings.

Offensively Houston strikes out about as much as any team in the major leagues ranking 29th in strikeouts per game but they also rank second in walks per game so their on base percentage is decent. However, they have not been the model of consistency and their overall stats rank around the middle of the league ranking 14th in OPS, and 16th in runs per game.

Free MLB Pick:  Under 8½ -102
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle

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