Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#925 Houston Astros 9 vs.
#926 Oakland A's -110
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 10:07pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: April 17, 2019, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA, 10:07 PM ET

The Oakland Athletics continue their quest for revenge on Wednesday after losing their first three-game series with the Houston Astros earlier in the season. However, it’ll come with the challenge of stopping an Astros team that has already defeated three of the league’s best ball clubs consecutively. Wade Miley is expected to get the start on the mound for the Astros opposite of Oakland’s Frankie Montas.

Astros changing the narrative

It wasn’t too long ago when the Astros were fielding doom and gloom questions after an ugly 2-5 start to the season. Some actually even went as far as pondering if this was going to be a letdown season for the ball club that took the AL West and won 103 games in 2018. Fast forward a few weeks, and the Astros are back on top of the division and riding an eight-game win streak with the sports world now pondering whether this will be another 100-win season.

How quickly things change.

While at their prematurely perceived low point, the Astros responded by going unbeaten on a six-game home stretch against the A’s and New York Yankees. Then they crushed the Seattle Mariners’ hype by sweeping them on the road and taking back the division.

In the series finale, Gerrit Cole (3.24 ERA) shined on the mound by retiring 11 batters in six innings, while only allowing four hits and two runs. More importantly, however, the bullpen came on and closed the deal against one of the best hitting teams in the league.

“Our whole bullpen is really good,” Cole said after the game, per ESPN.com. “They’re not afraid to pitch in leverage or clean up your mess. As starters, we just try to minimize their workload as best we can.”

One thing is certain: there isn’t a team in the league looking forward to playing against the Astros’ terrifying rotation.

A’s come up short after rain delay

The A’s had some extra free time on Saturday when their originally scheduled Game 2 meeting against the Rangers was cancelled due to rain. After a day off, they got back to work on Sunday in hopes of taking a two-game win in the series.

They left Arlington later that night with a two-game split and their first loss in four games.

The outcome wasn’t half as bad as the journey to the 8-7 road loss, which was highlighted by a four-run comeback in the eighth inning that ultimately won the game for the Rangers. It seemed like a done deal as the A’s piled on seven runs in the first four innings. Then came the painful meltdown by reliever Joakim Soria, who gave up three hits and four runs to put the Rangers back ahead by one point.

It was a huge momentum killer, and the A’s were never able to recover. However, all of the blame can’t be heaped on Soria’s shoulders considering the bats went cold in the last five innings. After that initial explosion, which was spearheaded by back-to-back inning homers by Stephen Piscotty and Matt Chapman, they failed to score a single run.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The Astros are coming into this series as the hottest team in baseball right now, and it’s tough to bet against them, even when they’re facing a playoff-contending division rival on the road. That’s another prediction rolled all in one. The A’s will find a way back into the wild card conversation once October arrives.

As for this game, the Astros may not score a lot of runs, but they are quietly one of the most efficient hitting teams in the league. They sit at the top in batting average (.280), and they are the sixth-ranked team in on base percentage (349). That’s a deadly combination when paired with their elite pitching rotation. There is also the fact that pitcher Wade Miley has already served the A’s up a shutout performance in an earlier meeting this season. He only allowed four hits and struck out four batters over a span of 5.2 innings.

Meanwhile, Frankie Montas has struggled when facing the Astros—6.75 ERA, 19 hits, 10 earned runs, two homers and seven walks in 13.1 innings. That run of bad history will continue in front of the Oakland faithful in Game 2. Give me the Astros in this game.

Prediction: Houston Astros

Full-Game Total Pick

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The under is 9-1 in the Astros’ last 10 games against a team with a winning record and 4-1 for the Athletics in Montas’ last five starts. An interesting statistic that is rarely mentioned is the fact that a top-10 run-scoring team like the A’s are only averaging 3.75 runs at Oakland Coliseum. That number won’t get any better when facing this Astros defense, which allows 3.31 runs per game on average. I’m taking the under in this game.

Prediction: Under

Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

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