Collin McHugh (16-7, 4.05 ERA) and the Houston Astros (78-71) go up against Aaron Brooks (2-3, 7.68 ERA) and the Oakland Athletics (64-85) in the last of a three-game division series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 10-6 and the series is currently tied 1-1. The game starts at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sep. 20 and will air on CSCA and RTSW.
In his most recent outing, McHugh pitched 3.2 innings, allowing five runs, striking out four and walking three in a 6-5 loss to the Rangers. Carlos Correa (.275, 44 Rs, 18 HRs, 53 RBIs, 12 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run and one RBI. The Athletics were victorious the last time Brooks pitched. He did not do well, pitching 6.0 innings, giving up six runs, striking out six and walking two in a 17-6 victory over the White Sox. Danny Valencia (.291, 49 Rs, 16 HRs, 60 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Athletics, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Houston is a heavy -220 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the Astros have a 48-40 record and overall money line at -336. They have a 32-34 record SU and are 16-23 as favorite within their division. The Astros are a power hitting team with 202 home runs, one of the highest totals in the MLB. The Astros are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 109 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Houston's pitching staff can be considered for best in its league, with an AL-low 3.48 team ERA. The Astros don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fifth in the league with a 1.20 WHIP.
Moving on to the away team, the Athletics come into this game with a weak win percentage of .392 when playing as the underdog (31-48) and an overall money line of -2,641. Against divisional rivals, they are 30-36 SU and 13-19 as the underdog. Oakland has been playing better lately, averaging 5.6 runs per game, more than their season average of 4.3. Oakland's pitching staff has allowed an average of 6.8 runs per game during the last 10 games, higher than their season average of 4.3. They also average just 8.4 hits allowed per game, fifth-best in the AL. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in the AL with an average of 7.7 strikeouts per road game.
This game will feature Brooks (RHP) on the mound against the Astros, who have a 51-44 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed McHugh will take the mound against the Athletics, who have a 50-55 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
The Astros hold a 32-34 record this season against teams in the AL West Division. The Athletics' record in these matchups is 30-36.
The Astros are coming into this matchup after a high-scoring game where they scored a whopping 10 runs. The Athletics have a 0-11 record when opponents score that many runs or more.
When they are outhit, the Athletics are 10-55. The Astros have a 13-50 record when opponents outhit them.
Oakland ranks near the bottom of the league at 21st when it comes to home runs, hitting 135 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at second with 202.
Ranking 14th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.20 per game. Oakland ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.74.
Ranking 23rd, Oakland is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.711). Houston ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .738.
The Athletics are 26-64 when they allow at least one home run. The Astros perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 30-49 record.