TV: AT&T SportsNet-SW+Radio: KBME 790, KNTE 101.7Online: MLB.TV
Tonight the 21-15 Astros will face off against the 18-16 Athletics. Oakland has been impressive out of gates, as their sneaky top-10 offense has the team exceeding expectations, sitting just three games back from Houston in the AL West. The series will take on a larger importance than anticipated, as the struggling Astros will need to pick it up after dropping 5 of their last 6 if they want to maintain a commanding lead over the AL West.
Offensively, the Athletics have always had pop, with sluggers like Khris Davis and Matt Olson, but it is 34 year old Jed Lowrie that has led the charge for Oakland in 2018. Lowrie is providing the Athletics offense power, consistency, and most importantly, good at bats, something the team has lacked over the last couple of seasons. Lowrie is batting .353/.405/.603 on the year with 8 homers and a 177 wRC+.
Pitching Matchup: LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 2.84 ERA, 5.68 K/9, 1.42 BB/9) vs Dallas Keuchel (1-5, 3.98 ERA, 6.91 K/9, 2.51 BB/9).
The Astros will have the luxury of facing journeyman lefty Brett Anderson tonight. Anderson is an effective starter when healthy, but unfortunately for him, he has not been healthy often throughout his career. Anderson signed a 1-year, $4-million deal with Oakland this off-season, and will play his part as a prototypical "innings eater" at this stage in his career, assuming he can remain on the field. Anderson has low 90’s heat, decent control, and an effective slider, but actually has worse career splits against lefties than righties, which is good for the Astros offense.
Dallas Keuchel gets the start for the Astros tonight. Keuchel has not looked like his Cy-Young candidate self in 2018, but he he has not been bad either. Look for Keuchel to pound it low in the zone tonight, as he’s slightly strayed from his ground ball approach over his last three starts.
Astros lineup pic.twitter.com/o7yf8KcfdT— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) May 7, 2018
A's lineup vs. Dallas Keuchel tonight in OAK pic.twitter.com/6sK1UPv1zd— Hunter Atkins (@HunterAtkins35) May 7, 2018
- Opening Line: Astros -135 (57.45%)
- Our Model: Astros 57%
- FiveThirtyEight: Astros 58%
- Fangraphs: Astros 58.3%