Coming off of an off day on Monday, the Oakland Athletics will travel to Minute Maid Park to take on the Houston Astros in a huge mid-season series. At the time of this writing, the Athletics are three games behind the Astros for first place in the American League West. Heading into the All-Star break in just a few days, the Athletics will be looking to shrink the Astros division lead, while the Astros would love to have some more separation between themselves and Oakland. With all that being said, let’s take a closer look at both teams so you can bet against their MLB odds.
Top MLB Series of the Week to Bet On – Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are the top-ranked hitting team in Major League Baseball. They lead all of MLB in batting average, with a combined average of .273. They also lead the league in OPS at .794 and RBIs with 453. Opposing teams should be very fearful of facing the powerful lineup of the Houston Astros.
The Athletics don’t have many standouts, but they just always seem to play good, fundamental baseball. They have good starting pitching, a very good bullpen, and an offense that always seems to come up big in crunch time.
Let’s take a look at the pitching matchups for this big series of American League West foes.
Tuesday, July 6th – Bassitt vs. Valdez
In the first game of the series, we should see the best pitching matchup of the series as Chris Bassitt takes the hill for Oakland and will be opposed by Framber Valdez of the Astros. Bassitt has had a stellar 2021 season. He’s currently 9-2 with a 3.04 ERA. Bassitt has struck out 109 batters in 106 innings pitched this season. Bassitt could possibly make the American League All-Star team this season.
Valdez is 5-1 on the season. He comes into this one with a 2.18 ERA on the season. Valdez was injured to start the season, but since coming off of the injured list, Valdez has pitched very well.
Wednesday, July 7th – Manaea vs. Garcia
On Wednesday night, Sean Manaea will get the start for Oakland. The Houston Astros will counter with Luis Garcia. These two have the same records and nearly the same ERA. Manaea has been one of Oakland’s most consistent pitchers over the last few seasons. He’s currently 6-5 with a 3.13 ERA. Manaea has struck out 102 hitters in 97 innings pitched.
Luis Garcia has had a good start to the season for Houston. He’s also 6-5 on the season with a 3.14 ERA. Garcia has been a surprise for the Astros, as he wasn’t slated to be in the rotation at the start of the season.
Thursday, July 8th – Montas vs. McCullers
Frankie Montas will take on Lance McCullers Jr. in the final game of the series. Montas hasn’t pitched as well as the A’s would have liked, but he still has a respectable 7-7 record with a 4.63 ERA. McCullers is finally getting back to form after he had Tommy John surgery a few months ago. McCullers is 6-1 with a 2.57 ERA this season. In his 72 innings pitched this season, he has struck out 81 hitters.