The Houston Astros are the most hated team in baseball. The Oakland A’s are defending AL West champions and favorites to repeat in 2021. Right now though, you’d think the roles were reversed with Oakland off to a miserable start and Houston looking like the perennial powerhouses they have been prior to last season.
More importantly, Houston absolutely dominated Oakland in its four-game season-opening series despite being on the road. The Astros are off to a blistering 5-1 start heading into Wednesday’s day off. The A’s are a winless 0-6 heading into their mid-week home matchup against the LA Dodgers.
Is Houston a lock pick as they get for their 2021 home opener? Could the reeling A’s get the confidence-boosting upset? Let’s find out where the best MLB betting value lies in this affair so you can make your bets against their MLB odds.
MLB Betting Predictions: Astros Look to Dominate A’s – Again!
Oakland A’s (0-6) Vs Houston Astros (5-1) Match Info
- When: Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 8:10 p.m. ET
- Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
- TV: ATT SportsNet-SW, NBCSCA, MLBN
- Oakland – Cole Irvin – LHP – (0-1, 8.31 ERA, 2 SO)
- Houston – Cristian Javier – RHP – (0-0, 4.91 ERA, 4 SO)
A’s Look to Rebound From Miserable Start!
Oakland is looking to rebound from an absolutely miserable start. Not only were the A’s swept in their season-opening four game set against Houston, but Oakland was completely and utterly embarrassed while getting outscored by a whopping margin of 35-9. The A’s allowed the Astros to score eight runs in Game 1 and nine runs in each of the ensuing three games while simultaneously getting held to two runs or less three times. Oakland then lost its series opener against the Dodgers 10-3 at home on Monday before falling to LA again 5-1 on Tuesday.
“It (stinks) to start this way but we know how good we are,” A’s starter Chris Bassitt said. “It’s just embarrassing right now.”
On Thursday, Oakland will hand the ball to left-hander Cole Irvin who faced the Astros on Saturday and gave up four runs on seven hits in 4.3 innings of a 9-1 loss. The A’s are ranked an abysmal 29th in scoring (2.17 RPG) and 27th in team batting average (.169) while giving up 8.3 runs per game defensively (30th) and allowing their opponents to bat a blistering .321 (30th).
Astros Making An Early Statement!
Make no mistake about it…the Astros are making a statement to the rest of their American League counterparts, and really, all of baseball. After sweeping Oakland to start the season, Houston lost its series opener against the Angels 7-6 on Monday to suffer their first loss of the season. The Astros bounced back to beat the Halos 4-2 on Tuesday as Carlos Correa hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the ninth inning to lift Houston to the win. Kyle Tucker and Aledmys Díaz hit back-to-back homers in the second inning for the Astros, who faced non-stop boos and jeers.
“They seem unfazed by all the jeers and all the booing,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “It helped them concentrate even more at the start of the year. This team is very secure in their abilities, and they’re secure on and off the field.”
On Thursday, Oakland will hand the ball to right-hander Cristian Javier after he limited Oakland to two runs on three hits while striking out four batters in his first start of the season on Friday. Javier went 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in six games (five starts) at Minute Maid Park last year.
Houston averages an impressive 7.6 runs per game (3rd) while batting a collective .295 (4th). Defensively, the Astros rank fourth in runs allowed (3.0) and seventh in opponents’ batting average (.201).
Expert Analysis and Prediction
Oakland won the AL West crown a year ago while Houston barely got into the playoffs. However, the Astros smacked the A’s out of last season’s playoffs by winning 3-1 in the ALDS and cemented their status as the better team by bashing Oakland to start this season.
The ‘Stros have won seven of the last eight meetings while outscoring the A’s 68-31 during the span. Oakland lefty Cole Irvin is an average hurler at best while Houston’s Cristian Javier looks like a potential perennial double-digit winner just waiting to happen. Houston wins for the fifth straight time over Oakland this season.
Pick: Houston 6 Oakland 2
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