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2021 Series Preview: Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics

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The Astros (91-62, 1st in AL West) look to sew up the AL West in enemy territory as they take on the A’s (82-71, 3rd in AL West) in a weekend series

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Quick Notes

Oakland begins this series a much different team than the last time the Astros faced them back in early July. At that point the A’s were in control of the Wild Card and well within striking distance of the division with a few months still left on the schedule. While the Astros had been in control of the West for a few weeks at that point, the A’s didn’t look like they were going away anytime soon.

But now the narrative is about a team that has faded in the standings and would need more than a couple lucky breaks to qualify for postseason play this year. Not only that, but they may be looking at an embarrassing 3rd place finish in the division after the Mariners had their way with them this week.

Further still, the Astros have a solid chance of clinching the AL West on their home field this weekend, which would just be the icing on the cake for a season that had promised so much more for the Oakland faithful. Baseball is cruel.

Still, they are 4 games back in the race for the second AL Wild Card and have 9 games left to play. If the stars align and they go on a tear to end the season there’s still math that supports the hypothetical of them going to the promised land of October baseball, but you’d have to squint real hard to see it clearly.

Last 10 Games: 5-5 Record, 1 Series Sweep, 1 Series Win, 1 Series Swept, -1 Run Differential (47 Scored, 48 Allowed)

W/L Splits: 40-38 at home, 42-33 on the road, 28-48 against teams over .500


Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Zack Greinke (RHP, 11-6, 4.11 ERA, 117 K’s) vs Frankie Montas (RHP, 12-9, 3.57 ERA, 192 K’s)

Montas has found another gear in the second half of the season with 10 quality starts in 12 tries under his belt. He also had one just before heading into the break, which was also his last time to face Houston. He twirled 6.2 innings of 1-run baseball while striking out 10 in that one.

Game 2: Framber Valdez (LHP, 11-5, 3.07 ERA, 115 K’s) vs Sean Manaea (LHP, 10-10, 4.05 ERA, 180 K’s)

Whereas Montas has taken a step up in his game this season, Manaea has taken a step down. His last two starts have reflected that reality with 9 runs surrendered across 10 innings in both games. He’s done well enough against Houston this season though, but only has two no-decisions and a loss in his three games against them.

Game 3: Jake Odorizzi (RHP, 6-7, 4.22 ERA, 86 K’s) vs Paul Blackburn (RHP, 1-3, 5.17 ERA, 23 K’s)

Slotted into the A’s rotation in mid-August, Blackburn has oscillated from good to bad. He has yet to log more than 5 innings in any of his starts and has given up 3+ runs as often as he’s held opposing teams to less than two. This will be just his 8th MLB game of 2021.


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Friday, September 24th @ 8:40 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2 / Athletics - Bloomberg 960 AM, A’s Cast, KIQI 1010
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Athletics - NBCSCA

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Game 2: Saturday, September 25th @ 3:07 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010 / Athletics - Bloomberg 960 AM, A’s Cast, KIQI 1010
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Athletics - NBCSCA

Game 3: Sunday, September 26th @ 3:07 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010 / Athletics - Bloomberg 960 AM, A’s Cast, KIQI 1010
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Athletics - NBCSCA / MLB Network (out-of-market only)


Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (23 votes)
  • 61%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (75 votes)
  • 15%
    A’s Win 2-1
    (19 votes)
  • 3%
    A’s Sweep 3-0
    (4 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now