The Houston Astros welcome the Oakland Athletics to Minute Maid Park for a three-game set starting tonight.
Tonight will be the first of 13 meetings this season between the two clubs, with another three-game set from May 26-28, a four-game series from July 20-23, and a final three-game set from September 11-13.
After starting the season with a lukewarm 18-18 record, Houston has won seven of their last eight, including a three-game sweep against the Chicago Cubs. They’re currently on a four-game winning streak.
In the series finale against the North-siders, Kyle Tucker sent them back to Chicago with a walkoff two-run single for a 7-6 victory. Tucker joined Alex Bregman in the three-hit club, including a Bregman solo shot, while Yainer Diaz, Jeremy Peña, and Jake Meyers had a pair each, including a Meyers two-run homer.
The fireworks were necessary in J.P. France’s first substandard start. France allowed six earned runs on nine hits (including three jacks) and two walks over 3 2⁄3 frames. A quintet of relievers held the Cubs scoreless through the final 5 1⁄3 innings.
The Oakland Athletics are...not very good. Currently saddled with a 10-35 record (2.4 games below replacement level, btw) the A’s have yet to string together more than two wins in a row. That was only the one time, against the similarly dreadful Kansas City Royals.
The A’s went 2-5 on their just-concluded homestand, dropping the final game by a 5-3 count to the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks. A’s leadoff hitter and CF Estuary Ruiz was the only Oakland player to finish with more than one hit, but Ramón Laureano did go deep for a three-run shot. Luis Medina struck out six and finished with a Quality Start, but Shintaro Fujinami (1-5, 12.62) finished with the loss after allowing two earned runs in 2⁄3 of a frame.
The last time Oakland and Houston faced off was a four-game series from September 15-18 last season. Houston won the finale, 11-2 behind a four-hit game from Martin Maldonado, including a three-run homer. Jose Altuve had three hits, while Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurreil finished with a pair each. Framber Valdez (16-5, 2.57) struck out seven over six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk.
All Time Head to Head
Houston owns a 97-90 all-time record against Oakland, a .519 winning percentage. Last season, Houston was 12-7 against the A’s. The two clubs have faced each other in one postseason series, with the Astros winning a best-of-five in four games in the 2020 ALDS.
Houston Astros: 24-19, .558, 2 GB, in middle wildcard spot, second in the AL West, fifth in the AL, tied for eighth in MLB, last 10: LLWWWLWWWW, on pace for 90-72 record, playoff odds: 95.6 percent B/R, 75.3 percent F/G.
Oakland Athletics: 10-35, .222, 17 GB, 15 WCGB, fifth in the AL West, 15th in the AL, 30th in MLB, last 10: LLLLWLLLWL, on pace for 36-126 record, playoff odds: <0.1 percent both B/R and F/G.
Combined Team Leaders
AVG: Mauricio Dubon .309, Brent Rooker .295, Yordan Alvarez .287, Esteury Ruiz .277, Kyle Tucker .275
OBP: Brent Rooker .408, Ryan Noda .400, Yordan Alvarez .388, Kyle Tucker .354, Alex Bregman & Esteury Ruiz .340
SLG: Brent rocker .605, Yordan Alvarez .551, Kyle Tucker .444, Jeremy Peña .440, Shea Langeliers & Ryan Noda .421
OPS: Brent Rooker 1.013, Yordan Alvarez .939, Ryan Noda .821, Kyle Tucker .798, Jeremy Peña .743
HR: Brent Rooker 11, Yordan Alvarez 9, Shea Langeliers 7, Alex Bregman, Jeremy Peña & Kyle Tucker 6
RBI: Yordan Alvarez 39, Brent Rooker 30, Kyle Tucker 29, Jeremy Peña & Esteury Ruiz 22
BB: Ryan Noda 30, Alex Bregman 27, Brett Rooker 23, Kyle Tucker 21, Yordan Alvarez 19
SB: Esteury Ruiz 20, Jeremy Peña & Kyle Tucker 6, Corey Julks 5, Conner Capel, Jace Peterson, Tyler Wade and Chas McCormick 4
ERA: Framber Valdez 2.84, Cristian Javier 3.25, Hunter Brown 3.43
WHIP: Cristian Javier 0.97, Framber Valdez 1.12, Hunter Brown 1.32
SO: Framber Valdez 65, Cristian Javier 59, Hunter Brown 47, JP Sears 44, Ken Waldichuk 36
Luis Garcia is out for the season for Tommy John surgery and recovery. Jose Urquidy is expected back around the all-star break with a hopefully healed-up sore shoulder. Jose Altuve may be back as soon as tonight’s game, but we’ll wait and see. Michael Brantley...could be back at some point, maybe.
Gametime & Starting Pitchers
Tonight at 7:10 PM CT: Ken Waldichuk (1-2, 7.02) vs. Brandon Bielak (0-1, 3.29)
Saturday at 3:10 CT: JP Sears (0-3, 5.27) vs. Hunter Brown (4-1, 3.43)
Sunday at 1:10 CT: Kyle Muller (1-3 7.71) vs. Framber Valdez (3-4, 2.84)
Who’s hot (highest WPA vs. Cubs)
Alex Bregman (.601)
Kyle Tucker (.420)
Jeremy Peña (.335)
Mauricio Dubón (.320)
Cristian Javier (.164)
Who’s not (lowest WPA vs. Cubs)
Martin Maldonado (-.134)
Jose Abreu (-.178)
Framber Valdez (-.213)
Yordan Alvarez (-.277)
JP France (-.377)
Franchise leaderboard check
20. Carlos Lee 3121
21. Alex Bregman 3115
3. Jose Cruz 1935
4. Jose Altuve 1937
20. Craig Reynolds 860
21. Alex Bregman 854
38. Morgan Ensberg, Bill Spiers, Yordan Alvarez 99
41. Michael Brantley 98
42. Moises Alou & Kyle Tucker 93
25. Lee May 81
26. Kyle Tucker & Marwin Gonzalez 79
46. Denny Walling 47
47. Geoff Blum 46
48. Enos Cabell, John Bateman & Martin Maldonado
12. Glenn Davis 518
13. Alex Bregman 511
32. Joe Morgan 327
33. Yordan Alvarez 322
38. Lee May 288
39. Kyle Tucker 285
28. Hunter Pence 61
29. Wilbur Howard 60
30. Kyle Tucker 59
23. J.R. Howard 238
24. Ryan Pressly 236
14. Ken Forsch 815
15. Lance McCullers Jr. 800
40. Denny Remaster 450
41. Cristian Javier 437
How many times will the Astros defeat the A’s?
This poll is closed
Astros 2, A’s 1
Astros 1, A’s 2