The top two teams in the AL West finish up a series down in the Lone Star State. The Oakland A’s play the final game of a three-game series with the Houston Astros Wednesday afternoon. In the opening game of the series, Houston cruised to a one-sided 11-1 victory on Monday night to draw first blood. The pitching matchup in the middle game of the series Tuesday night saw Mike Fiers take the mound for the A’s against Houston’s Wade Miley. First pitch in the contest from Minute Maid Park was scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.
Oakland A’s Battling in AL Wild Card Race
Oakland’s hangover from a walk-off loss in Minnesota Sunday carried over to Monday as they were drubbed by the Astros in the opener of this set. The A’s entered Tuesday second in the AL West, 7.5 games behind the Astros: they held a one-game edge over Tampa Bay for the second wild card spot. Oakland finished with only two hits in the game as Matt Chapman (run) and Mark Canha (RBI) each doubled in the loss. Homer Bailey (8-7) was rocked as he allowed nine runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts in two-plus innings of work.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 21, 2019
Chris Bassitt takes the mound for his 17th start of the year for the A’s in this contest. He comes in 7-4 with a 3.96 ERA, a 1.229 WHIP, 36 walks and 83 strikeouts over 88.2 innings of work this season. Bassitt picked up the win in his last outing, which came on the road against the Twins Friday night. He threw five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in a game the A’s won by a 5-3 score. Bassitt is 2-1 with a 4.70 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, four walks and 11 strikeouts over 15.1 innings in his last three starts. He is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA, a 1.045 WHIP, seven walks and 15 strikeouts over 22 innings in four career appearances, three starts, against the Astros. Bassitt earned the win in his lone career start at Minute Maid Park, which came with the A’s on July 11, 2018. In that contest, he threw five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout in an 8-3 Oakland win.
Houston Astros Starting to Widen Gap in AL West
Houston reeled off a sixth straight win as they jumped all over the A’s early and cruised to the victory. The Astros entered Tuesday with a 7.5-game advantage in the AL West over the A’s. Houston got homers from Aledmys Diaz (his sixth), Yuli Guerriel (his 19th) and Yordan Alvarez (his 11th) in the victory. The Astros scored four times in the second and seven times in the third to break the game wide open. That was more than enough for Gerrit Cole (11-5), who continued his hot stretch on the mound. He threw seven innings, allowing a run on two hits with a walk and 11 strikeouts.
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 23, 2019
Justin Verlander takes the hill for his 22nd start of the season as he faces his former team. He comes in 12-4 with a 2.99 ERA, a 0.844 WHIP, 29 walks and 172 strikeouts over 138.2 innings of work on the year. Verlander earned the win in his last start, which came Friday at home against the Rangers. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with one walk and 12 strikeouts in an eventual 4-3 Houston victory. Verlander is 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, three walks and 25 strikeouts over 19 innings in his last three starts. He is 13-6 with a 2.63 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, 40 walks and 128 strikeouts over 136.2 innings in 21 career starts against the A’s. Verlander is 12-9 with a 2.86 ERA, a 0.898 WHIP, 43 walks and 306 strikeouts over 229.1 innings in 36 career starts at Minute Maid Park.
- Athletics are 1-4 in Bassitt’s last 5 starts during game 3 of a series
- Athletics are 1-4 in Bassitt’s last 5 starts vs. American League West
- Astros are 5-0 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning record
- Astros are 5-0 in their last 5 during game 3 of a series
- Astros are 6-0 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record