The Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros meet Friday in MLB action from Minute Maid Park.
This will be the second installment of a three-game set between these teams this weekend. In the opener on Thursday, the Astros posted a four-run victory. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Oakland was swept by the Astros in their opening series, scoring more than two runs just once in four games. The A’s then went 1-2 versus the Dodgers. In Thursday’s game, the A’s couldn’t find any offense until the ninth inning and fell 6-2. Elvis Andrus notched a double in that one.
For the Friday game two, the A’s will send out Sean Manaea. In his first start this year, Manaea went 4.2 innings with six hits, five earned, three walks and four strikeouts. He allowed two home runs to the Astros in that start, which fell on April 4.
Over on the Astros’ side, they scored very well in their first four games against the A’s, then split a pair of matchups against the Angels. In the Thursday game, Houston didn’t have a lot of trouble staying ahead. Starter Cristian Javier put up 5.0 innings with three hits, no earned and seven Ks.
In the starting role Friday, the Astros will go with Lance McCullers. In his first start this year on April 3 versus Oakland, McCullers put up 5.0 innings with two hits, one earned, three walks and seven strikeouts. This will be his first start in front of home fans since way back in July 2018.
The A’s are 6-2 in their last eight Friday games and 1-4 in their last five in game two of a series. The under is 34-15-2 in the A’s last 51 Friday games and the over is 12-3-1 in their last 16 versus the AL West.
Meanwhile, the Astros are 4-0 in their last four in game two of a series and 60-25 in their last 85 home games. Houston is 57-26 in their last 83 Friday games and the over is 4-0-1 in their last five Friday games.
PICK: I’m going to stick with Houston. The opening series between these teams was all Astros; they won 8-1, 9-5, 9-1 and 9-2. That’s a combined score of 35-9 and a dominant performance however you look at it. I think Manaea will pitch better in this one, and it probably won’t be a blowout. That said, with McCullers on the mound putting the team in a good position, a Houston win makes sense.