A couple of west coast games with regional coverage will air on MLB Network on Friday night as the Houston Astros take on the Oakland Athletics and the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Matchup: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics

Date/Time: September 5, 10:05 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: HOU: Brett Oberholtzer (4-10, 4.39) v. OAK: Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 3.57)

Moneyline: Oakland -220

Total: 7.5 105/-115

The Astros will take the field for the third time under interim manager Tom Lawless on Friday night when they open up a weekend set at O.co Coliseum in Oakland. The A’s also had Thursday off to regroup after losing eight of 13 since their last off day. The Astros fired manager Bo Porter this week and continue to look towards the future. The A’s, meanwhile, have to start playing better if they want to catch the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The A’s trail by five games in the AL West Division race.

Brett Oberholtzer will try to bounce back from his worst outing of the season. He allowed seven runs in 4.1 innings to the lowly Texas Rangers in his last start and now has a 4.24 ERA since the All-Star Break. Prior to that start, Oberholtzer’s ERA since the All-Star Break was 3.28 with six quality starts out of seven starts. Oberholtzer started the season poorly, posting a 2-6 record and a 4.76 ERA before getting sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City to try and get back on track. He was recalled despite a 4.65 ERA in the minors.

Jeff Samardzija has mostly come as advertised for the Oakland A’s since he was acquired in early July. Samardzija has made 11 starts and has a 3.57 ERA, but one bad start with seven runs allowed over 3.2 innings has skewed those numbers a bit. Eight of his 11 starts have been quality starts and his last two starts have been particularly strong with a 1-1 record and a 1.69 ERA to go along with 19 strikeouts and two walks. The loss was a complete game loss as the A’s got shut out.

Oberholtzer has faced the Athletics five previous times. In those outings, he is 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA. Four of those five starts occurred this season. He’s 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA and just a 9/7 K/BB ratio. The Astros are 8-12 in Oberholtzer’s 20 starts for a loss of 1.31 units.

Samardzija will be taking on the Astros for the 22nd time overall and seventh time as a starter. In his career, Samardzija is 6-2 with a 3.32 ERA. All six starts have come over the last three seasons and Samardzija is 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA. The Athletics are 7-4 in Samardzija’s 11 starts for a profit of 1.97 units.

Free MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics

This is chalky, but Oberholtzer has struggled with his control against the Athletics, one of the league’s most patient teams, and that could lead to the Astros bullpen getting into the game very early. That’s certainly a concern for them. The A’s got a much needed day off to regroup and the benefits of that should be evident right away.

Matchup: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers

Date/Time: September 5, 10:05 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: ARI: Vidal Nuno (0-4, 3.23) v. LAD: Dan Haren (11-10, 4.27)

Moneyline: Los Angeles -160

Total: 7.5 105/-125

The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t been able to run and hide from the San Francisco Giants, as they enter play on Friday with a two-game lead in the NL West Division standings. The Arizona Diamondbacks just want to run and hide from the remainder of the season. These two teams are clearly going in different directions. The Dodgers are 24-19 since the All-Star Break and the Diamondbacks are 18-25 and have lost 20 of their last 30.

Vidal Nuno will once again try for his first win as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was acquired from the Yankees in the Brandon McCarthy trade in the first week of July. Nuno will be making his 11th start and has a 3.23 ERA, but he still hasn’t been fortunate enough to get a win. The Diamondbacks have scored just 2.7 runs per game in Nuno’s starts. He has held opposing batters to a .200 batting average in his 61.2 innings of work and it’s clear that he hasn’t been the issue for the Diamondbacks.

Dan Haren has had an interesting season. Through the month of April, Haren’s ERA was 2.03. By the end of June, Haren’s ERA was 3.57. By the end of July, Haren’s ERA was 4.49. At the end of August, Haren’s ERA was 4.27. The veteran right-hander hit some bumps in the road in the middle of the season, but seems to have figured it out with just seven earned runs allowed and a 23/5 K/BB ratio in his last six starts. Haren has allowed 17 unearned runs this season.

Nuno has never faced the Dodgers. Against teams with winning records, Nuno is just 2-5 with a 5.20 ERA in 18 career appearances, 15 of them starts. The Diamondbacks are just 1-9 in Nuno’s 10 starts for a loss of 8.59 units, but he’s been a tough luck loser on more than one occasion.

Haren has faced the Diamondbacks seven times, with six career starts. He’s 5-2 with a 3.70 ERA. This season, Haren is 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA. The Dodgers are 13-14 in Haren’s 27 starts for a loss of 2.27 units.

Free MLB Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks

It’s tricky to take the Diamondbacks given how bad their offense has been and how much they’re looking forward to the end of the season, but Nuno has deserved a better fate and his teammates have to understand that as well. The Dodgers are a middle-of-the-pack team against lefties and the Diamondbacks may rally for one of the final times this season.