The Houston Astros look to make it seven wins in a row when they open a series against the Oakland Athletics on Monday. Houston has won eight of the nine head-to-head meetings between these two teams in 2018. The Houston Astros are -250 over the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
Things are falling into place nicely for the Astros. After a four-game sweep of the White Sox over the weekend, they have won six in a row. They are just one win behind the Red Sox for the most in baseball and have opened up a 3.5-game lead over the Mariners atop the AL West.Rather quietly, Oakland has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this year. The A’s are 10 games over .500, and while they are 10 games behind the Astros in the division, they are just 6.5 games behind Seattle for the second wild-card spot, putting them within striking distance of a playoff spot. The A’s also head to Houston winners of 10 of their last 12 games.
Turn It Around
Gerrit Cole will start for the Astros on Monday night. He will attempt to beat out Justin Verlander as the third Houston starter to reach 10 wins on the season. In 18 starts this year, Cole is 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA. He’s already had two cracks at it but fell short each time in a couple of subpar outings. Last time out, he let up four runs on eight hits over five innings against the Rangers, so he’ll look to get things turned around.
In three starts against Oakland this season, Cole has two wins, so that bodes well for him. He’s done a nice job of handling some of the A’s young, talented hitters like Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, who are a combined 0 for 17 against Cole in their careers. However, some of Oakland’s veterans, most notably Khris Davis, Jonathan Lucroy, Jed Lowrie, and Stephen Piscotty have had some success against Cole in the past, so the A’s will certainly make things difficult for him.
Learn the Name
Opposing Cole and the Astros will be 25-year old righty Frankie Montas. He’s had a couple rough outings since joining the Oakland rotation at the end of May. But he’s also shown the promise of someone who was once one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. In his seven starts, Montas is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA.
Of course, one of his bad outings came against the Astros, as he gave up seven run s (five earned) on 11 hits over 5.1 innings. On the bright side, Brian McCann, who homered in that game, is on the DL, as is Carlos Correa. That being said, Houston’s lineup is arguably the best in baseball, and the likes of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, and Josh Reddick are all swinging hot bats.
Take A Chance
The Astros are probably going to win this game. Montas is facing an uphill battle against Houston’s lineup. But with the Astros favored so heavily, it makes sense to bet on Oakland because it offers a high payout. After all, the A’s are as hot as any team in baseball, so it’s possible they find a way to win. The bet to make on Monday is the Oakland Athletics +250 over the Houston Astros.