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Game 133 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics

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Astros look to rebound after dropping four out of five.

Bob Levey

Houston Astros (55-77) at Oakland Athletics (77-53), 7:10 p.m. (CST)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
A's SBNation BlogAthletics Nation

Pitching matchup

LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-9, 3.12 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (9-10, 3.84 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Preview

It's been a roller coaster for the last ten games for the Astros - win four out of five, then loss four out five. But, tonight Houston has Dallas Keuchel on the mound to ride "Greased Lightnin" (pour one out for AstroWorld).

Keuchel has hit a rough spot in his last three starts giving up 11 runs over his last 21 innings - well that's a rough patch for Dallas Keuchel's standards. The Athletics wouldn't normally be the type of team you would look to rebound against, but the lefty has an ERA of 2.35 in 15.1 innings this season against them. This includes one of Keuchel's five complete games this season, in which he picked up his last win of the season on July 30 - allowing one run on four hits.

A few A's have had repeated success in their careers against Keuchel, namely platoon first baseman (and former Astros rule-five pick) Nate Freiman - he is 5-for-8 with three extra-base hits. Josh Donaldson also has two extra-base hits, and is batting .313 (5-16). Derrick Norris is 6-for-14 with two doubles and two walks. Coco Crisp has been limited of late, but he is 4-for-12 with three doubles against Keuchel.

Another part of the Jeff Samardzija faces the Astros tonight, former Cubs pitchers Jason Hammel. Hammel has won just one start in seven starts for the Athletics thus far. That includes an eight-run pummeling from the Astros on July 30 (as against Dallas Keuchel). In August, he's had two good starts followed by another disaster. He gave up just one run over 12 innings pitched in his first two starts this month, then five runs over three in his last start in Atlanta on August 15.

The Astros jumped on Hammel early in their previous game, posting six runs in the first on five hits - including a Robbie Grossman home run. Jon Singleton would add a two-run home run later in the game to push the total runs to eight off Hammel.