The Houston Astros were heavy favorites to win another AL West title entering this season, but the Oakland A’s continue to hold them off. Both are going to make the playoffs regardless. They play Game 4 of a five-game set on Wednesday.
How to Bet Astros at A’s MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 9:10 PM ET
- Where: Oakland Coliseum
- Probable pitchers (away/home): TBA/Jesus Luzardo
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
The Astros are really short-handed right now due to injuries. Former AL MVP Jose Altuve was the latest to hit the injured list over the weekend with a right knee sprain. Altuve tweaked his knee while running the bases and sliding last Thursday — the same knee that he had surgery on a couple of years ago — so the team will proceed cautiously. Altuve has struggled this year, hitting just .224/.284/.322 with three homers, 12 RBI and two stolen bases (three caught stealing) in 35 games.
Third baseman Alex Bregman, last year’s AL MVP runner-up, has been on the injured list since August 20 because of a right hamstring strain but could be activated any day. Bregman deemed himself “100 percent” last Thursday, but he didn’t receive clearance from the training staff to return for the weekend series against the Angels. Bregman likely will receive semi-regular maintenance days once he’s back on the active roster, with the Astros focused primarily on getting him back to full strength in time for the postseason.
“He’s a guy that we definitely have to take [time with] if there’s any doubt,” Manager Dusty Baker said. “If not, he’ll be in and out of the lineup one day on and one day off, and it’s hard to get any rhythm and timing. When I do put him in the lineup, do I put him in the middle of the fire like he’s used to and not being sharp? You don’t want to put him in front of guys [when] he may have to run the bases a lot. You try to put him in a [favorable] situation until his leg shows us he will be in more of a position to drive in runs and score. I’m hoping he’s ready for Oakland.”
Bregman was hitting .272 with four homers and 14 RBIs this year and was riding a nine-game hitting streak when he was injured Aug. 19 in Colorado. He has reached base in 40 consecutive games, which is the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.
The Astros’ pitching is a bit of a shambles with Justin Verlander still out, Lance McCullers Jr. going zero innings in his last start and ending up on the IL, and Jose Urquidy on a pitch count as he returns from COVID. Because of injuries and the Astros and A’s playing a doubleheader on Tuesday, Houston has yet to announce Wednesday’s starting pitcher. It could be a bullpen game.Why Bet on Oakland?
These two clubs do not like each other, and things escalated on Aug. 9, when the benches cleared in Oakland. A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano was upset after being hit by a pitch for the second time in the game and exchanged words with Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, then charged the dugout.
“It’s a key series every time we play them as the season goes along,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of this one. “It’s getting more and more important, especially since this is the last time we play them this year.”
A’s third baseman Matt Chapman has been diagnosed with a right hip strain. Chapman aggravated the injury while fielding a grounder off the bat of Jurickson Profar in the fourth inning of Sunday’s loss to the Padres. He’s headed for an MRI. The All-Star’s hip had been an issue on and off during the season.
Chapman was already having trouble at the plate since the team returned from its recent coronavirus hiatus. In the three games against the San Diego Padres over the weekend, he struck out 10 times in 11 plate appearances, including five on Saturday alone. It was only the sixth time in Oakland history that a hitter went 0-for-5 with five Ks. The A’s were already dealing with a costly injury on the left side of their infield, as shortstop Marcus Semien missed the entire Padres series with soreness in his side.
It’s young lefty Jesus Luzardo (2-2, 4.23) on the mound here. Luzardo surrendered four runs in 4 2/3 innings Friday in a loss to the Padres. Luzardo pitched four scoreless innings before things fell apart in the fifth on a rally started by a bunt single and a hit by pitch. Five of the six hits that Luzardo surrendered came in the frame. He’s now allowed three or more earned runs in three of his last four starts.Expert PredictionA’s 6, Astros 4
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