Felix Doubront (2-1, 3.99 ERA) and Mike Fiers (7-9, 3.54 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Oakland Athletics (58-78) and the Houston Astros (75-62) at O.co Coliseum. Action begins at 4:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 7 and can be seen on CSCA and RTSW.
Doubront pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering four runs, striking out five and walking four in an 11-5 win over the Angels. Stephen Vogt (.273, 54 Rs, 18 HRs, 67 RBIs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run. Fiers went 6.0 innings, surrendering one run, striking out five and walking three in a 4-1 win over the Twins in his last outing. Carlos Correa (.282, 38 Rs, 16 HRs, 46 RBIs, 11 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Astros, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Houston takes on Oakland as a -136 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at eight runs. The Athletics have recorded an overall money line of -2,776 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 26-42. Oakland has recorded a disappointing 2-5 record as the underdog over its last 10 games. The Athletics have seen an uptick in scoring against teams inside their division, averaging 4.7 runs per game. They average 4.2 runs per game on the season. Oakland's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 6.5 runs per game, well above its season average of 4.2. The Athletics are the fourth-best team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.3 hits per game so far this season.
In games where it is the favorite, Houston has a 45-34 record and an overall money line of +573. They are 13-17 as the favorite against AL West opponents, and 29-25 SU. The Astros can change the game with one swing of the bat, ranking second in the league with 185 home runs. The Astros are an excellent base stealing team with 101 stolen bases, ranking third in the MLB. Houston's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 3.28 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Astros are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.18 for the season.
The Astros lead the season series, 7-6. The Athletics have a 46-50 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Fiers takes the mound. Doubront (LHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 26-21 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
The Athletics are 26-31 against their divisional rivals, while the Astros are 29-25 against their division.
Oakland has won 43% (25-33) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Houston has won 60% (31-21) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Astros are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Athletics have a 26-41 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Athletics are 44-20. The Astros have a 54-16 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 15th, Oakland is in the top half of the league in runs, scoring 566 this season. Houston ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 596.
Ranking 16th, Oakland is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 382 this season. Houston ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 410.
The Athletics are 37-38 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Astros are 62-37 when they hit at least one homer.