#918 Oakland A'svs.#917 Houston Astros
Written by Chris Kubala
Houston Astros (46-23 SU, 40-29 RL, 33-30-6 O/U) vs. Oakland A’s (31-38 SU, 36-33 RL, 39-28-2 O/U)
MLB: Monday, June 19, 2017, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California, 10:05 pm ET
Lines: Houston Houston -148, Oakland +138; Over/Under: 9
A pair of AL West rivals open up a series out in Northern California. The Houston Astros are on the road in the first of a four-game set with the Oakland A’s Monday night. Houston was in action Sunday night as they played the rubber game of a three-game set with the Red Sox at home. Oakland capped a surprising four-game sweep of the Yankees at home, winning 4-3 Sunday afternoon. The Astros took two of three in the last series between the teams, which came April 28-30 in Houston.
Houston entered Sunday’s finale with the Red Sox losers of four of their last six games even with Saturday’s 7-1 victory. The Astros aren’t threatened in the AL West as they went into Sunday night with an 11.5 game lead. Carlos Beltran (run, three RBI), George Springer (run) and Jose Altuve (two runs, two RBI) each had two hits for Houston in the win. Altuve (his 10th) and Beltran (his ninth) each homered in the victory. David Paulino (1-0) picked up the win as he allowed one run on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts over six innings.
Brad Peacock takes the mound for his 18th appearance and sixth start of the season for the Astros in this contest. He is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.205 WHIP, 22 walks and 58 strikeouts over 39 innings of work this year. Peacock took a no-decision in his last start, which came Tuesday at home against Texas. He threw 4.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts in a 4-2 Astros defeat. Peacock is 1-1 with a 4.61 ERA, a 1.61 WHIP, nine walks and 20 strikeouts over 13.2 innings of work in his last three starts. He makes his 13th career appearance and 10th start against the A’s in this one: he is 1-4 with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.603 WHIP over 48.2 innings of action. Peacock is 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP over 25.1 innings in five career starts at the O.co Coliseum.
Oakland had lost six of seven going into the weekend but pulled off a four-game sweep over the Yankees at home. The A’s got all four of their runs and four of their seven hits in the third inning, then used solid pitching to close New York out. Oakland got a pair of hits from Matt Joyce (run) and Khris Davis (run, two RBI) in the victory. Chad Pinder drove in a pair of runs while Davis hit his 18th homer of the season in the win. Jharel Cotton (4-7) got his first win since May 4 after allowing three runs on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth, striking out one, for his third save.
Daniel Gossett takes the ball for his second major league start for the A’s in this contest. He is 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP over 3.1 innings this season. Gossett took the loss in his major league debut, which came Wednesday on the road against the Marlins. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits with a walk and a strikeout over 3.1 innings in an 11-6 Oakland loss. Gossett was 3-3 with a 4.01 ERA, a 1.187 WHIP, 19 walks and 54 strikeouts over 60.2 innings in 11 starts for Triple-A Nashville in the Pacific Coast League. He is 19-22 with a 3.55 ERA, a 1.196 WHIP, 113 walks and 342 strikeouts over 383 innings in 77 minor league appearances, 66 of which are starts.
Oakland swept the Yankees but they have to send an inexperienced young pitcher to the mound in this one. Houston is the top team in the majors and they can hurt you from any spot in the lineup. The Astros are able to bide their time while Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. recover from minor injuries. Peacock averages better than 13 strikeouts per nine innings and Oakland has plenty of free swingers. The Astros get the nod in this one, snapping Oakland’s win streak at four.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.