Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas will be the scene for game two of a three-game set between the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros on Friday night. The Astros come into this series sitting at the top of the American League West with a 5-1 record. Things are a little different for Oakland, as they’ll enter the series sitting in last place in the division with a 1-6 record. Let’s take a closer look at both teams and how they arrive to this matchup so you can bet against their MLB odds.
MLB Betting Preview for A’s vs. Astros
These two teams met to start the season, and things didn’t go well for Oakland as they were swept by the Astros in a four-game set. Houston outscored Oakland 35-9 in that series. Oakland finally won their first game of the season on Wednesday night, as they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in extra innings.
Not much has seemed to go right for the Athletics this season. In their seven games, they’ve only plated 16 runs. As a team, the A’s are hitting just .168 on the season. Their runs scored, on base percentage, and slugging percentage are all near the bottom of the league averages. As for the pitching stats, they’re not much better. They have a team ERA of 7.17, a whip of 1.78, and their batting average against is .305. Anything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the A’s this season.
While the A’s are sitting near the bottom of pitching and hitting stats, the Houston Astros are near the top. Houston has scored 45 runs on the season, which is second in all of Major League Baseball. Their team batting average is .295, good for third in the MLB rankings. Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, and Kyle Tucker are all hitting well for Houston. Houston’s team pitching stats are also good. Houston is in the top 10 of MLB in all of the major pitching categories.
For game two of the series on Friday night, Oakland will send Sean Manaea to the hill. Manaea faced Houston in his first outing of the season, and things didn’t go well for the veteran lefty. In 4 ⅔ innings, he gave up five runs on six hits, giving up two homers. His ERA on the season is 9.64.
Manaea will be opposed by Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers faced the A’s in his first start of the season, and he threw a gem. McCullers went 5 innings, giving up two hits, and one earned run, while striking out 7 Oakland hitters. McCullers earned the win in this one, and will enter Friday night’s start with a 1.80 ERA.
This series will be crucial for the Athletics, as they can’t afford to fall too far down in the American League West standings. Right now, they’re sitting 4.5 games behind the division-leading Astros. If Houston takes two out of three, they’ll be 6.5 games back, and that puts them in a big hole to start the season. Oakland needs to get things going soon, or it could be too late, and their playoff hopes may be dashed early.