Scott Kazmir (2-0, 1.33 ERA) and Dallas Keuchel (2-0, 0.90 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Oakland Athletics (8-9) and the Houston Astros (8-7) at O.C. Coliseum. Action begins at 10:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 24 and can be seen on ROOT-SW and CSN-CA.
Kazmir is 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA in his appearances against the Astros, and goes up against a below-average Houston offense which is batting just .215 this season. Stephen Vogt (.360, 8 Rs, 4 HRs, 14 RBIs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Keuchel is 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA when pitching against the Athletics. He is up against a good Oakland offense which is hitting .280 this season. Jed Lowrie (.283, 5 Rs, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB) has been successful at the plate to the start the season, going 3 for 3 Wednesday.
Oakland is a -131 favorite against Houston and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Athletics have recorded an overall money line of -121 and have shown a weak performance as a favorite this season with a record of 3-5. Oakland has gone winless in its last 10 as the favorite. The Athletics lead the AL in hits at home with a phenomenal 11.1 per game. As for the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Athletics, who have a team ERA of only 3.34. The Athletics are the third-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.08 so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Houston has a 4-4 record and an overall money line of +190. They have been playing solid baseball as the underdog with a 4-3 record against fellow AL West members, and a 7-5 record SU. Offensively, the Astros have really picked up the pace in division games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.3 runs per game by averaging 3.8 in those contests. The Astros are an excellent base stealing team with 16 stolen bases, ranking second in the MLB. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Astros are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.09 for the season.
The Athletics lead the season series, 2-1.
Predictions: SU Winner - OAK, O/U - Over
The Athletics are an even 7-7 against the division, while the Astros sit at 7-5.
Oakland has won 33% (3-6) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Houston has won 57% (4-3) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Athletics are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Astros have a 2-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Athletics are 1-5. The Astros have a 2-3 record when opponents outhit them.
Oakland ranks in the top half of the league at 15th when it comes to home runs, hitting 14 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at fifth with 19.
Ranking 15th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.13 per game. Oakland ranks in the top five at third with 9.94.
Ranking 21st, Houston is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.665). Oakland ranks in the top 10 at seventh with an OPS of .760.
The Astros are 1-5 when they allow at least one home run. The Athletics perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 1-6 record.