Houston Astros (0-0) at Oakland Athletics (0-0)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 10:07 pm (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum)
Zack Greinke (0-0) (0.00) vs. Chris Bassitt (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Oakland Athletics +103 / Houston Astros -113 --- Over/Under: 8.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics meet Thursday in MLB Opening Day action from O.co Coliseum.
Houston managed to go 29-31 overall last season. That mark left the Astros in second place in the AL West, but the team was ultimately beaten by the Rays in the ALCS. As for the A’s, they went 36-24 last year and took the AL West crown. Oakland fell to Houston in the ALDS, however. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Houston has managed to find sustained success over the last six years, reaching the playoffs in five of those seasons. Despite their losing record, the Astros were able to take out the Twins in the Wild Card Series and the A’s in the ALDS before falling to the Rays in the American League Championship Series.
For Thursday’s Opening Day start, Houston will send out Zach Greinke. This will be his fifth career Opening Day start, but he’s yet to win any of those games. The veteran Greinke posted a 4.03 ERA with a 3-3 record in 12 starts last season, striking out 67 batters along the way.
Over on the A’s side, things are looking up after an encouraging 36-24 record in 2020. Oakland finished first in the division and bagged their first postseason series victory since 2006 in the ALCS versus the White Sox. The Athletics will be seeking some revenge here after getting bounced from the ALDS by Houston last season.
Oakland will send out Chris Bassitt for the Opening Day start this season. The 32-year-old Bassitt posted a 5-2 record with a 2.29 ERA and 55 Ks in 63 innings last year. He was solid in spring action, notching a 1.74 ERA across three starts for the A’s.
The Astros are 4-0 ATS in their last four Thursday games and 6-2 ATS in their last eight versus a right-handed starter. Houston is 11-23 ATS in their last 34 road games and 10-21 ATS in their last 31 as a road underdog.
Meanwhile, the A’s are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 Thursday games and 50-22 ATS in their last 72 home games. Oakland is 2-5 ATS in their last seven versus the American League West and 1-5 ATS in their last six after an off day.
PICK: I’m going to take the A’s in this one. Greinke is no stranger to Opening Day starts, but he hasn’t been able to find much success in those games. He’s 0-1 with a bloated 8.20 ERA over four Opening Day outings, but should pitch well enough here to keep the Astros within striking distance. I like a tight pitchers’ duel through the first five innings or so here, with Oakland powering out a win late. Should be a fun matchup to kick off the season.