Game: Oakland Athletics @ Houston Astros
Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
Odds: Athletics +275, Astros -400
The Houston Astros used a new strategy against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, advancing to 9-3 in September so far. The Astros are now just one victory away from securing the best record in the American League. With a 2-1 victory against the Tigers yesterday, Houston (93-50), finished off its three-game road series sweep of Detroit. That also gave Houston a perfect 7-0 mark against the Tigers this season. The Astros will now host Oakland for a four-game weekend series beginning tonight.
Last night, the Astros used small ball to beat the Tigers. Cristian Javier pitched a gem and Kyle Tucker homered for the winners. Last night’s game was a little different than the Astros previous three games, all wins. Houston hit eight homers and scored a total of 25 runs in those three games.
Houston will start right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. tonight. He is 3-1 this season with a 2.20 ERA. McCullers has won both of his starts this month allowing four runs on 10 hits. He has struck out 13 batters over 12.2 innings. Both victories came against the Los Angeles Angels.
McCullers has just five starts this season due to injury. He has allowed more than two earned runs just once and that came in a 6-2 loss to Atlanta last month. McCullers gave up three runs in five innings against the Braves. In his career, he has 13 starts against Oakland and he has done well. McCullers is 7-3 with a 3.25 ERA against the A’s. He actually made his debut this season on Aug. 13 against Oakland. He allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings and beat the A’s 8-0.
Oakland will put James Kaprelian on the mound against Houston. The right-hander is 3-9 with a 4.79 ERA so far this season. He has lost four of his last five starts. His ERA over that span is 6.46. He has allowed opponents a .874 OPS and surrendered 16 walks over 23.2 innings.
Prior to this slump, Kaprelian had won three of seven starts with a 2.33 ERA during that span. In his last appearance against Houston, Kaprelian pitched 3.1 innings of relief and allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits. Houston won the game 10-4. That is Kaprelian’s only action ever against the Astros.
The A’s (52-91) stunned the Texas Rangers on Wednesday scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning to win 8-7. The victory gives Oakland two wins in its last three games, but those two victories are the A’s only wins in their last seven games.
Over their last 13 games, Oakland is just 3-10 SU. The A’s are 2-5 SU in their last seven road games. Oakland was swept by Houston in the last series, but the A’s swept the Astros at home in the previous series.
Houston is 6-1 SU in its last seven games. At home against Oakland, Houston has won four of the last five games. The total has gone Over in four of the last six games in this series.
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