Oakland A’s (53-68 SU, 62-59 RL, 66-51-4 O/U) vs. Houston Astros (74-47 SU, 63-58 RL, 63-50-8 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 19, 2017, Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas, 8:10 pm ET
Lines: Houston -177, Oakland +167; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the continuation of a three game set between a pair of AL West rivals in the Lone Star State. The Oakland A’s play the second of three against the Houston Astros, who have the best record in the American League, Saturday night. Oakland lost the rubber game of their three game home set with the Royals, falling 7-6 Wednesday afternoon. Houston split their four game, two city interleague set with the Diamondbacks, falling 4-0 at home Thursday. The pitching matchup for the opening game of the series Friday night saw Sean Manaea pitch for the A’s against Houston’s Dallas Keuchel. First pitch in the contest was set for 8:10 pm ET.
Oakland A’s Look to Spring Upset
Oakland rallied on a couple of occasions Wednesday but couldn’t push across a run when they needed it in the ninth. The A’s took the loss and dropped the series. Rajai Davis (run), Marcus Semien (run, two RBI), Jed Lowrie (two RBI), Ryon Healy (run) and Matt Chapman (run, two RBI) each had two hits in the loss for Oakland. Paul Blackburn recorded a no-decision: he threw four innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Blake Treinen (1-1) took the loss as he allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout in his one inning of work.
Kendall Graveman takes the mound for the 12th time this season for Oakland in this contest. He is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA, a 1.402 WHIP with 17 walks against 42 strikeouts over 61.1 innings of work this season. He missed two and a half months earlier in the season with a right shoulder strain. Graveman picked up the win in his last start, which came at home Sunday against the Orioles. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in a 9-3 Oakland victory. Graveman is 1-1 with a 7.53 ERA, a 1.81 WHIP, three walks and 10 strikeouts over 14.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his eighth career start against the Astros in this contest. Graveman has a 3-2 record with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.234 WHIP over 41.1 innings of work against them. He is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.054 WHIP over four starts totaling 24.2 innings at Minute Maid Park in his career.
Houston Astros Trying to Get Healthy for Stretch Run
Houston split their four game interleague series with the Diamondbacks but was blanked in their two losses. The Astros have gone only 14-18 since the All Star break but they are fortunate to have run to a massive lead in the AL West. Houston finished with just four hits in the game Thursday with Jake Marisnick accounting for half of those. Yuli Guerriel (double) and George Springer each had a hit in the loss as well: the Astros were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Mike Fiers (7-8) took the loss as he gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over 5.1 innings of work.
Collin McHugh takes the mound for his sixth start of the season for the Astros. He missed the first three months of the season with an elbow impingement: he is 0-2 with a 4.88 ERA, a 1.337 WHIP, nine walks and 28 strikeouts over 27.2 innings of work. McHugh took the loss in his last start, which came Monday on the road against the Diamondbacks. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in a 2-0 Houston defeat. McHugh is 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP, six walks and 17 strikeouts over 17 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 10th career start against the A’s in this contest: he is 6-1 with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.129 WHIP over 56.2 innings of work. McHugh is 25-13 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP over 46 starts totaling 285 innings at Minute Maid Park in his career.
- Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 road games vs. a right-handed starter
- Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record
- Astros are 11-4 in their last 15 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
McHugh is still looking for his first win of the 2017 season after all of the first half of the season. With that said, he’s pitched well against the A’s in his career. Graveman got back in the win column in his last start but he hadn’t won before that since mid-April. The A’s are still trying to battle as a young team but they don’t have the depth and power to knock off the Astros. Look for Houston to come up with the victory in this contest.