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Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros - 4/19/14

Houston Astros (5-11) at Oakland Athletics (10-5)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm (O.co Coliseum)

Brett Oberholtzer (L) (0-3) (3.500) vs. Scott Kazmir (L) (2-0) (1.397)

The Line: Oakland Athletics -200 / Houston Astros +185 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: MLB N, CSN-HOU, CSN-CA

The Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics meet on Saturday afternoon to play game two of a three-game series. The A’s won game one, 11-3.

The issues continue for the Astros, a team that has now lost five straight games and has dropped to 5-12 on the season. The Astros have scored more than three runs just once during their losing streak, and the lineup has been held to three or less runs in 12 of their first 17 games. Brett Oberholtzer has pitched well enough to pick up a win or so, but he’s 0-3 with a 3.50 ERA due to the lack of the Astros offense. Oberholtzer has allowed 13 hits in 18 innings and has 15 strikeouts. In one career start against the A’s, Oberholtzer is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA.

Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros - 4/19/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics have won five of their last six games and are making a strong case as one of the biggest surprises this season. The A’s have four players with at least 15 hits, however, Oakland’s success starts with their pitching staff, a unit that has allowed three or less runs in five of their last eight outings. One pitcher who has been lights out is Scott Kazmir, who is 2-0 this season with a 1.40 ERA. Kazmir has allowed 11 hits and three runs in 19.1 innings of work and has struck out 19. Kazmir is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in three starts against the Astros. 

The Astros are 0-7 in Oberholtzer's last 7 starts and 18-54 in their last 72 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Athletics are 14-6 in their last 20 games vs. a left-handed starter and 99-46 in their last 145 games as a favorite. The Astros are 4-17 in the last 21 meetings vs. Oakland.

Oberholtzer hasn't been too shabby to begin the season, but that still isn't good enough reason to back the Astros in this matchup. Houston is just a bad baseball team that is automatic fade material until further notice. 

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Oakland Athletics -200

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