Two of the best teams in the American League will face-off here as the Houston Astros host the Oakland Athletics for the second game of their series. Tanner Roark will be on the mound for Oakland, while Wade Miley gets the start for the Astros. Oddsmakers have the Astros as a modest favorite for this one.
A’s Playing Well
Oakland was one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season, as they came out of nowhere to make the playoffs. They weren’t able to fly under the radar this season, and they started off slow as a result. But after taking a while to come into their own, they’ve since been one of the best teams in the league. They’ve played really well over the past few months, and are 47-23 in their last 70 games. That’s been good enough to put them in the second wild card slot, although they have the Indians breathing down their neck. They were only one game ahead of Cleveland entering Monday, so every game is of massive importance from here on out
As they look to start making their final push, they’ll start the recently acquired Tanner Roark here. The A’s got Roark in a trade with the Reds at the deadline, and he’s been quite good since coming over. In six starts he has a 2.70 ERA, and Oakland is 4-2 in those six outings. In his most recent start, he tossed 6 and 2/3 scoreless innings against the Angels. Roark pitched against this tough Astros lineup back on August 16th and held his own, giving up only two runs in six innings in a game the A’s won 3-2. Oakland hits lefties like Miley just fine, and they’re 51-22 in their last 73 games against left-handed starters.
The Astros have done a wonderful job of establishing themselves as a consistent winner, and they’re one of the best teams in the league once again this season. They entered Monday at 94-50, tied with the Yankees for the best record in baseball. They entered this series coming off a four-game sweep of the Mariners in which they won the finale 21-1. That being said it was the Mariners, so perhaps we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from the beatdown. That being said, the Astros certainly haven’t been unbeatable. The last time these two AL West rivals played a series against each other, it was Oakland who won three of four games. Houston more or less has the division wrapped up, so they’ll need to avoid getting complacent down the stretch and stay motivated.
Houston will start Wade Miley here, who is coming off a tough outing. In his most recent start against the Mariners Miley melted down, giving up five earned runs and failing to get even a single out before getting pulled. That was an abnormality, but it was still slightly concerning considering he only lasted 3 and 2/3 innings in his start before that. That was against the lowly Mariners, and he’ll be facing a much more dangerous Oakland lineup here. The Astros are still missing star shortstop Carlos Correa and it looks like they could also be without Yuli Gurriel for this one, who is dealing with a hamstring injury.
- 8-1 in their last 9 vs. American League West
- 47-23 in their last 70 overall
- 51-22 in their last 73 games vs. a left-handed starter