[8:10 p.m. EST] Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros (1.5-run line: -130)
OAK: Homer Bailey – R (12-8, 4.87 ERA/1.35 WHIP)
HOU: Justin Verlander – R (18-5, 2.52 ERA/0.77 WHIP)
The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the A’s-Astros game. We like Houston to cover the run-line in this one.
This series has been absolutely crazy, as the Astros opened with 15 runs and the A’s answered back the next night with 21. Oakland even took last night’s meeting, giving them a 5-2 record against Houston over the last seven meetings. It’s time for the Astros to take one back – in convincing fashion.
Justin Verlander has faced some weak competition of late, but he didn’t make the schedule. In fact, he’s done his job and then some, allowing four hits or less in five straight starts. Verlander has simply owned Oakland this season, posted a 2-0 record and 1.29 ERA in three starts – a span of 21 innings. Look for him to do the same tonight.
It won’t be easy for the A’s, considering they’ll be facing one of MLB’s best. Even more evident is how much they’ve struggled against him, scoring only three runs in 21 innings.
Homer Bailey has been effective in his last few outings, but his last against the Astros – not so much. In that outing, he allowed nine runs in two innings en route to an 11-1 win for Houston. While Bailey has gotten away with facing lesser teams, the Astros are certainly not one of them.
Right-handed batters are hitting .304 (compared to .220) against Bailey this season, and the Astros have plenty of them. Guys like George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman can get the party popping in no time. Look for them to hop on Bailey early and often, just as they did last time they faced him.
We’ve got plenty of narratives to foresee the Astros clubbing the A’s tonight. Look for them to get to Bailey early and often, giving Verlander more than enough run support.
* Final Score Prediction * Houston Astros: 10 – Oakland Athletics: 2
By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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