The American League Wild Card series gets underway Monday, October 5, 2020, when the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics begin their five-game series at Dodger Stadium. The Oakland Athletics finished the regular season 36-24 and won the AL West by seven games over the 29-31 Houston Astros. These two teams met 10 times during the regular season and Oakland won the series 7-3. Oakland is -134 favorites to win this series, so you can get Houston to advance at +110. This game will air live on TBS at 4:07 p.m. EST.
Houston had to travel to Minnesota to face the AL Central winning Twins in the Wild Card series and came away with a quick two-game sweep. The Astros pitching completely dominated this series as they won game one 4-1 and game two 3-1.
Oakland had a tougher time in their Wild Card series as they hosted the Chicago White Sox and had to come back from a 1-0 series deficit to advance. The White Sox won game one 4-1, but Oakland came out firing in game two and won 5-3. Game three was what playoff baseball is all about as it was tense throughout and, ultimately, ended with an Oakland 6-4 win.
Below is my pick for the Houston Astros vs Oakland Athletics. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Odds: Houston Astros (+130) vs Oakland Athletics (-152)
Pitching Matchup (Playoff Record): Lance McCullers Jr. (first appearance) vs Chris Bassitt (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
This will be Lance McCullers first postseason appearance since the 2018 playoffs. McCullers is 1-0 with a 2.42 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 11 postseason appearances (four starts). During the 2020 regular season, McCullers made 11 starts and went 3-3 with a 3.93 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.
Chris Bassitt started game two of the ALDS against the Chicago White Sox and pitched seven brilliant innings. Bassitt held the White Sox to six hits and one earned run, while striking out five, in a 5-3 Athletics win. The righty made 11 starts during the 2020 regular season and went 5-2 with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
MLB Predictions: I like the Houston Astros to get the game one win.
2020 Picks Record: 60-43