The red-hot Houston Astros will look to extend the league’s longest current winning streak when they play host to the American League West rival Oakland Athletics in the finale of a three-game set on Thursday.
The red-hot Astros (54-33) have won six straight and sit atop the AL West standings. They are tied with Boston and San Francisco for the most victories in the majors.
Oakland (49-39) has lost three consecutive games and sits in second place in the AL West standings, 5.5 games behind division-leading Houston. The MLB odds for this division clash are live in the BetUS online sportsbook right now.
Oakland A’s at Houston Astros
When: Thursday, 2:10 p.m. ET
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
TV: ATT SportsNet-SW, NBCSCA
Oakland Athletics – Frankie Montas – RHP – (7-7, 4.63 ERA, 95 SO)
Houston Astros – Lance McCullers Jr. – RHP – (6-1, 2.97 ERA, 81 SO)
Oakland A’s +155
Houston Astros -175
Run Line Odds
Oakland Athletics +1½ -130
Houston Astros -1½ +110
A’s Need to Give Montas Run Support
Oakland has been limited to three runs or less in five of its last seven games and was on the wrong end of a narrow 4-3 road loss against Houston on Wednesday night, as predicted. Matt Olson and Elvis Andrus had solo homers, but it wasn’t enough to get the win as the A’s fell to 1-5 over their last six games.
“We’re going through a bad streak where it seems like everything that can go wrong is at this point,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve just got to continue to grind. Early in the season, these types of games we were winning and right now we’re not.”
For the series finale, Frankie Montas gets the call. The right-hander has limited the opposition to two earned runs or less in two straight starts and four of his last five starts overall. The 28-year-old held Boston to two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings of a 3-2 home loss against Boston on Friday. Montas is 5-4 with a 4.06 ERA against the Astros in his career.
McCullers on Fire
Houston got the win on Wednesday night as Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer in the third inning and Kyle Tucker hit a tiebreaking solo jack in the seventh.
“Certainly we knew Tuck was due,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He had been hitting the ball hard most of the night and he got that homer right on when we needed it. (Sean) Manaea was throwing the ball good, too. … (Luis) Garcia kept us in the game so that one swing meant something. Jose got us on the board with that three-run homer and we didn’t know if that was going to be enough, but I’m so glad Tuck hit that ball over the fence.”
Lance McCullers Jr. gets the start. The right-hander has limited the opposition to two earned runs or less in five straight starts. McCullers limited Cleveland to two runs on six hits with three hits in 5.2 innings of a 6-3 road win on Friday. McCullers is 6-2 with a 3.66 ERA and 62 strikeouts against Oakland in his career.
Astros Complete Series Sweep
Houston is on a red-hot roll and definitely wants to send a message to Oakland that it is going to take back the AL West title it lost a year ago following its three-year run as division champs.
Not only do the Astros average over a run per game more than the A’s, but Houston is also better defensively, ranking seventh in runs (4.01) allowed while Oakland ranks 10th in runs allowed (4.23).
The A’s are 1-4 in their last five road games and 1-8 in their last nine games against a right-handed starter. Houston is 4-0 in its last four games against its AL West division rivals and 13-3 in its last 16 Game three contests. Lance McCullers Jr. has been absolutely lights out lately and the Astros have won four straight against Oakland. Simply put, bank on Houston to make it five straight on Thursday night.