Vegas Odds & MLB Predictions: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros (August 27th, 2018)
Oakland Visits Houston in Showdown Atop AL West
The Oakland Athletics trail the Houston Astros by 1.5 games in one of the most unlikely playoff races in recent times. Oakland started the season with the league’s lowest payroll and their starting pitching is largely a collection of castoffs who have all of a sudden discovered their A+ game pitching for Oakland after struggling with other teams in recent years.
At the same time, they come into this game winners of three straight, having just taken three of four from the Twins. They took two of three from Houston two weekends ago as well. They are now 18-6 since the end of July and 45-16 since they caught fire in mid-June.
After the A’s took the first two games from the Astros in that series they had actually pulled even for first in the division. Houston was all of a sudden struggling for wins even with the Major’s best rotation and largest run differential. They lost seven of eight to Seattle, Colorado and Oakland.
But they won the finale of that series by a 9-4 score and things have settled down for Houston since then. They are now 6-1 in their last seven as they took two of three from Seattle and then most recently swept the Angels while outscoring them 20-7.
Houston is now 13-9 in their last 22 games.
The A’s have averaged 4.77 RPG in August and their team ERA is 2.51.
The Astros have averaged 5.10 RPG in August and their team ERA is 3.27.
Brett Anderson (3-3, 3.47 ERA) has a sparkling 0.68 ERA in four August starts. He hasn’t allowed a run in three of them pitching 21.2 innings in those games. The one start he allowed any runs was three starts ago, allowing two in five innings. Oakland is just 2-2 in those starts however. They scored six runs last time out, but a total of four runs in his three previous starts.
Gerrit Cole (11-5, 2.73 ERA) has a 3.86 ERA in four August starts. Houston has won just one of four of those games. He allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings in a 7-4 loss to Seattle last time out.
Houston is -177 favorites and Oakland +167 underdogs. The way Anderson is pitching of late gives the Athletics a fighting chance. Houston has also struggled at times for wins at home with a 33-29 record in their stadium. Oakland’s bullpen has been incredible so I think they’ll take game one. The Pick: Oakland 3-1.