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Oakland Athletics vs Houston Astros Lineups, preview and prediction (8/20)

Houston looks to complete the sweep today and build on their division lead.


The Astros took yesterday’s game in a 3-0 shutout. 

Both teams starters brought their A-games on Saturday. Oakland’s Kendall Graveman went six strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three. Houston’s Collin McHugh had an almost identical line, minus the two runs. Unlike Graveman, McHugh was able to work his way out of jams and prevent any of the damage from reaching the scoreboard. 

The Astros scored their first two runs of the game in the fourth on a two-RBI single by shortstop Marwin Gonzalez. They then put up one more run in the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run by Alex Bregman. Houston’s bullpen held the lead, combining for three innings of no-hit ball. 

Game 3 Starters – Jharel Cotton (RHP) vs Brad Peacock (RHP)

Cotton’s season has gone from bad to worse for the A’s in 2017. He is the owner of a 5.92 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, and a 1.91 K/BB. The Oakland right-hander hasn’t won a game since June 23 against the Chicago White Sox. In three starts in August he has allowed 15 earned runs in 17 innings. In his only start against Houston this year, he went 4.1 innings, allowing six runs, although only three were earned. 

Peacock has been excellent for the Astros this season, sporting a 3.30 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. His 11.75 K/9 is good for fourth best in all of baseball among starting pitchers. The righty has run into a little trouble in his last few starts though, allowing 12 runs on 23 hits in 17 innings over the course of his last three games. He has made two starts against Oakland this year, allowing two runs over 10.2 innings while striking out 15. 

Lineups 

Athletics LineupHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Joyce, RF
18
.233
.335
Semien, SS
5
.254
.341
Lowrie, 2B
10
.271
.346
Davis, LF
33
.236
.325
Healy, DH
21
.262
.293
Olson, 1B
8
.217
.301
Chapman, 3B
9
.229
.302
Maxwell, C
1
.217
.321
Powell, CF
0
.286
.333
Astros LineupHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Springer, CF
28
.306
.379
Altuve, 2B
18
.364
.423
Reddick, RF
12
.296
.342
Gurriel, 1B
16
.296
.322
Bregman, 3B
15
.275
.357
Gonzalez, SS
20
.308
.383
Beltran, DH
14
.242
.291
Centeno, C
2
.276
.344
Fisher, LF
4
.241
.353

Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not

Marcus Semien has been on fire lately, with nine hits in his last 25 at-bats, with three being extra-base hits (one double, one triple, and one home run). Matt Joyce is on a similar tear. He has a 1.073 OPS in August with five home runs and 12 RBIs in 13 games, including three home runs in his last six. 

Bruce Maxwell has just three hits and zero walks in his last six games. He is hitting .162 this month with a .400 OPS. In the last week, Khris Davis has a batting average of .091, with 11 strikeouts in 23 plate appearances. Of his two hits during this span of games, on was for a home run. He has no hits and eight strikeouts in his last 12 at-bats. 

Yuli Gurriel comes into Sunday with a .352 batting average in the month along with a .914 OPS. Eight of his last 25 hits have been for extra bases, including five doubles. In 18 games in August Alex Bregman has a .647 slugging percentage with four home runs and 14 RBIs. Jose Altuve has four multi-hit games in his last five. 

Marwin Gonzalez finds himself in a slump, going 4-22 in his last six games with seven strikeouts and just one walk. Derek Fisher has hit especially poorly as of late also, with only eight hits in 54 plate appearances in August. Add 18 strikeouts during the same span, and he has become something of a liability in the Astros stellar lineup. 

Prediction: Astros 8 – 2 Athletics 

This one is a no-brainer. After dominating the Athletics for two games in a row this series, the Astros are poised for a big win on Sunday. It’s not like Houston’s lineup, which is averaging nearly six runs per game, to score as few runs as they have so far this series, so look for their hitters to break out in a big way, especially when facing a pitcher like Cotton who has been struggled all season. 

Where to Watch

Today’s game will be broadcast on NSCA and ATTSW, and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers. 

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Oakland Athletics vs Houston Astros Lineups, preview and prediction (8/20)

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