Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 4/24/14
Oakland Athletics (13-7) at Houston Astros (7-14)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm (Minute Maid Park)
Scott Kazmir (L) (2-0) (1.647) vs. Brett Oberholtzer (L) (0-3) (3.042)
The Line: Houston Astros +146 / Oakland Athletics -156 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds
TV: CSN-CA, CSN-HOU
The Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros begin a four-game series on Thursday night.
The Athletics were just swept by the Texas Rangers and have now lost four of their last seven games. In the Rangers series, the A’s scored only seven runs in three games, which has taken us back to the old Athletics’ teams that have struggled in the past to score. The Athletics this season are a balanced offensive club that is 13-4 when scoring three or more runs. Of course, it also helps that the A’s have a pitching staff that has allowed three or less runs in seven of their last 11 games. A red hot Scott Kazmir gets the start on Friday, and he’s 2-0 this season with a 1.65 ERA and has 24 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. Kazmir is 1-1 with a 4.13 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.
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The Astros took two of three from the Seattle Mariners, but have still lost eight of their last 10 games overall. A lack of offense is to blame for the Astros troubles, as they have scored three or less runs in 15 of their first 22 games. There are seven Astros batters with at least 15 strikeouts already this season. Brett Oberholtzer is still searching for his first win of the season, as he’s 0-3 with a 3.04 ERA and has 18 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. Oberholtzer has allowed just eight runs this season, and he’s 0-1 with a 1.54 ERA in two career starts against the Athletics.
The Athletics are 4-0 in Kazmirs last 4 starts as a favorite and 39-19 in their last 58 overall. The Astros are 1-5 in their last 6 during game 1 of a series and 14-39 in their last 53 overall. The Athletics are 10-1 in the last 11 meetings in Houston and 23-5 in the last 28 meetings.
Kazmir is pitching like his old self and add that to a Houston team that can't score, and you have yourself an A's victory. The Astros may end up having one of the worst offenses of all-time by the time this season is finished.
Take Kazmir and the Athletics as long as the price seems fit.