Aaron Brooks (1-2, 6.91 ERA) and the Oakland Athletics (60-79) meet Collin McHugh (15-7, 3.75 ERA) and the Houston Astros (75-64) in the last of a three-game division series at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics won the last game 4-0 and Oakland leads the series 2-0. The game gets underway at 10:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sep. 9 and will air on CSCA and RTSW.
In his last start, Brooks pitched 2.1 innings, allowing six runs, striking out two and walking two in an 11-8 loss to the Mariners. Ben Zobrist (.285, 65 Rs, 11 HRs, 50 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. The Astros were victorious over the Twins 8-0 the last time McHugh pitched. He went 7.2 innings, giving up zero runs, striking out six and walking one. George Springer (.260, 46 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Oakland is a +137 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. The Athletics have a losing record of 27-43 when playing as the underdog and an overall money line of -2,741. They have an SU record of 27-32 against teams in their division and an 11-15 record when they were the underdog in those games. The most recent 10-game stretch for the Athletics has gone great. Over that span, Oakland is averaging 5.4 runs per game, well over their season average of 4.2. Below average play has been the norm lately for the Oakland pitchers. The Athletics have given up an average of 6.3 runs to opponents in their last 10 games, above their season average of 4.2 runs per game. The Athletics are fourth in the AL in hits allowed with just 8.3 per game.
On the other side, the Astros have a record of 45-35 when they are favored and are +428 overall with the money line. Against divisional foes, they are 29-26 SU and 13-18 as the favorite. Houston is one of the top home-run-hitting teams in the league with 188 home runs. The Astros have racked up 103 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Shifting to the pitching staff, they have the lowest ERA in the AL at 3.34. They have a WHIP of 1.18 on the year, good for second in the league.
The Athletics have mostly come out on top against the Astros in their previous 15 games this season, earning an 8-7 record. The Athletics will take on a right-hander (McHugh) in this game and have a 47-51 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Brooks will take the mound against the Astros, who have a 49-41 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
The Athletics are 28-32 against their divisional rivals, while the Astros are 29-27 against their division.
When leading after 7 innings, Houston is 31-22, while Oakland is 26-34.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Astros are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Athletics have a 15-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Athletics are 9-50. The Astros have a 13-44 record when opponents outhit them.
Oakland ranks near the bottom of the league at 22nd when it comes to home runs, hitting 117 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at second with 188.
Ranking 14th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.20 per game. Oakland ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.75.
Ranking 23rd, Oakland is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.708). Houston ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .733.
When the Astros allow at least one home run, they are 27-44, well-matched with the Athletics who are 22-59 when allowing at least one homer.