Athletics vs Astros Betting Should Be On Host Houston

AL West rivals meet for four-game series

The Houston Astros begin a 10-game homestand on Monday when they host the Oakland Athletics for the first of a four-game set between division rivals. Houston was one of the MLB World Series favorites heading into the season, but it has struggled out of the gate and is looking to make up some ground.

Houston (15-25) has won three of its last four, all on the road, and is hoping to improve on its 7-12 mark at Minute Maid Park. The Astros are in fourth place in the AL West standings, just a half-game ahead of the last-place Los Angeles Angels.

The Athletics, who were the subject of lots of MLB news and rumors about their impending move from Oakland, have been a surprise in the early going of the season. Despite losing three of their last four, the Athletics are in third place in the AL West, three games behind the second-place Texas Rangers and three games ahead of the Astros.

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The Astros are the betting favorites in the opener, getting -175 odds on the moneyline, compared to +155 odds for the Athletics. You can get Oakland at -135 when getting 1.5 runs on the run line, while Houston is +115 when giving those runs.

The over/under for the opener is set at 8.5 runs, with the over listed at -120 and the under -100.

All four games of this series are scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET starts at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Astros logo Houston Astros vs Oakland Athletics Athletics logo

Location: Minute Maid Park in Houston

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Ross Stripling (Oakland) vs Spencer Arrighetti (Houston)

Oakland right-hander Ross Stripling will take the mound for his ninth start of the season in the series opener. Stripling is 1-6 with a 5.14 ERA this season, striking out 29 in 42 innings of work. He is coming off his worst start of the campaign against the Rangers last Tuesday, lasting just 1.2 innings and allowing 11 runs (five earned) on 10 hits while striking out two and walking two.

Houston will go with 24-year-old Spencer Arrighetti, who is looking for his first win in the majors as he makes just his sixth MLB start. Arrighetti is 0-4 with an 8.44 ERA, striking out 25 in 21.1 innings. The righty struggled against the New York Yankees last Wednesday, going five innings and allowing five runs on eight hits, including three home runs, while striking out four and walking three.

Game 2: JP Sears (Oakland) vs Ronel Blanco (Houston)

Left-hander JP Sears will get the start for the Athletics in Tuesday’s contest, bringing a 3-2 record and 4.20 ERA to his ninth start of the campaign. Sears has 33 strikeouts and 13 walks in 45 innings of work. He’s been up and down over his last four starts, with a pair of outings of at least six shutout innings and a pair of giving up at least four earned runs. He’s due for one of those shutout performances if he keeps on the same pattern.

Of the MLB probable pitchers for Tuesday’s action, Houston right-hander Ronel Blanco has been the best this season. The 30-year-old is 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA, which ranks eighth in the majors, striking out 41 in 44.1 innings over seven starts. Blanco went 5.2 innings against the Yankees last Thursday, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five and walking four.

Game 3: Paul Blackburn (Oakland) vs Framber Valdez (Houston)

Another up-and-down pitcher for the Athletics this season is righty Paul Blackburn, who gets the start in Wednesday’s contest. Blackburn is 3-2 with a 4.11 ERA but coming off a four-inning start in which he allowed seven runs on seven hits to the Seattle Mariners. In the start before that, Blackburn pitched seven innings against the Miami Marlins, allowing just one run on four hits.

The Astros’ Framber Valdez has only made five starts this season, but he’s been very good when he’s been on the mound for the most part. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.64 ERA, striking out 23 in 29.2 innings. He’s coming off a win against the Detroit Tigers on Friday, as he went seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out four and walking two.

Game 4: Undecided (Oakland) vs Cristian Javier (Houston)

The Athletics haven’t named a starter for the series finale yet, but it’s very possible it will be rookie righty Joey Estes. The 22-year-old was called up from Triple-A for his first MLB start of the season on Saturday and was fantastic against the Seattle Mariners, going five innings and allowing just one run on two hits while striking out five and walking none.

Right-hander Cristian Javier will bring a 2-1 record and 4.01 ERA to his sixth start of the season for the Astros on Thursday. Javier struggled in his last start, coming after he spent nearly a month on the injured list. Facing the Tigers on Saturday, Javier lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs on five hits, including a pair of home runs, while striking out none and walking four.

Astros Have Edge At The Plate

The Houston Astros standings in offensive categories this season are much higher than that of the Athletics, and that should be the difference in this series. Houston is tops in the majors in team batting average (.262), and it ranks in the top half of baseball in runs scored with 178. Oakland has been better than expected, sitting in a tie for 19th in runs (157), but the Athletics are one of the least productive teams at the plate, batting just .222 to rank 27th.

Oakland outfielder Brent Rooker has been a nice surprise for the team, as the 29-year-old is batting .292. He has a team-best 10 home runs and 27 RBI while tying for the team lead with 20 runs scored. Rooker comes into this series with a six-game hitting streak, going 11-for-24 with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and seven runs scored over that span.

Houston has a number of proven hitters in its lineup, but the hottest right now has to be the major league home run leader, Kyle Tucker. The 27-year-old has 13 round-trippers this season, ranking 13th in baseball with 28 RBI. Tucker has a home run in five of the last six games, and is batting .271 with seven doubles and 28 runs scored.

Astros Move Up With Series Win

When you’re doing your Athletics vs Astros betting, you don’t want to overthink things. Houston is the better team that is getting healthier and is playing at home, while the Athletics are struggling to shut teams down of late.

Look for the Astros to continue their ascent up the AL West standings, getting closer to the Athletics with a series victory. Make your MLB bets on this series on the home team to come out on top.

For MLB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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