Oakland Athletics (49-40) at Houston Astros (60-31)
|Date & Time||Monday July 9, 2018, 8:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -250 / Oakland Athletics +210 --- Over/Under: 8.5
The Oakland A’s and the Houston Astros duke it out in game one of a four game AL West division set from Minute Maid Park in MLB action on Monday.
The Oakland A’s will be looking to stay hot after winning 16 of their last 20 games after a victory in the rubber match of their series with Cleveland, a 6-0 triumph on Sunday. Stephen Piscotty led the A’s by going 1 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs, while Jed Lowrie added a solo home run. Chris Davis went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI of his own, while Mark Canha and Dustin Fowler each chipped in a run to round out the scoring for Oakland in the victory. Matt Chapman added a double while Matt Olson and Marcus Semien added a base hit as well in the winning efforts. Brett Anderson got the win to improve to 1-2 after throwing five three hit shutout innings, striking out three. Frankie Montas will start game one and is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA and 28 strikeouts this season. This will be Months’ second career start against Houston.
The Houston Astros will be looking to add another notch to their current six game winning streak following a sweep of the Chicago White Sox, including a 2-1 win in the series finale on Sunday. Jose Altuve belted a solo home run while Marwin Gonzalez added an RBI as well to round out Houston’s scoring in the win. Yuli Gurriel added a double and Tony Kemp chipped in a base hit as well as Houston mustered up just three hits as a team in the win. Dallas Keuchel got the win to improve to 6-8 this season after allowing the lone run on six hits over seven innings of work. Hector Rondon struck out a pair in the 9th for his 7th save of the season. Gerrit Cole will start the opener and is 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 158 strikeouts this season. In his career, Cole is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and 31 strikeouts against Oakland.
Oakland is 16-4 in their last 20 games overall and 6-1 in their last 7 road games while the over is 6-0 in Months’ last 6 starts. Houston is 47-20 in their last 67 home games and 37-14 in their last 41 division matchups while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 home games.
There’s no arguing that Cole has been stellar for his new team this season, and could be a candidate for the Cy Young in the AL. However, I was burned by Houston on the run line against a subpar White Sox team and a starting pitcher in Giolito that the ‘Stros should’ve batted around. Also, Cole has allowed four runs in three of his last five starts, one of which came against these same Athletics. Montas was bad in his last start against Houston, and has been up and down lately, but I can’t turn down this kind of plus money with the way Oakland has been playing as of late.