A key American League West battle concludes on Sunday, August 9, 2020, when the Houston Astros (6-8) visit the Oakland Athletics (11-4). Houston was the big favorite to win the AL West, but they currently sit in second place and are 4.5 games back of the red-hot Oakland Athletics. This game will air live on ESPN+ at 4:10 p.m. EST.
This series has been as tight as could be, but Oakland has snuck away with two huge wins. Game one took 13 innings, but it was Oakland that came away with a come from behind victory. Houston took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, but Oakland sent it to extras with a run in the bottom of the seventh. It looked like Houston was going to win after scoring a run in the top of the 13th, but Oakland scored two in the bottom half of the inning to get the walkoff win. Game two was not as close as the 3-1 score would indicate as the Athletics led from start to finish and had a 3-0 advantage heading into the top of the 9th inning. Oakland is really flexing their muscle in this series and must be one of the favorites for the World Series at this point.
Below is my pick for the Major League Baseball showdown between the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros.All odds are from SugarHouse.
Houston Astros (+138) at Oakland Athletics (-160)
Pitching Matchup: Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.42 ERA, 11K) vs Jesus Luzardo (0-0, 2.31 ERA, 12K)
Cristian Javier has been brilliant this season as he prepares for his fourth appearance this season. Javier started this season with one inning of scoreless relief work, and he has really kept it going through his first two starts. The righty held the Dodgers to just two hits and one run in 5.2 innings of work and then held the Diamondbacks to four hits and one run in six innings. It has been a brilliant start for the 23-year-old.
Jesus Luzardo is ready for his second career MLB start and will look to back up his brilliant debut on Sunday. Luzardo made two mixed relief appearances to start the season as he pitched three scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels, but gave up three earned runs in 3.2 innings of work against Colorado. The 22-year-old then made his starting debut against Texas and game up just two hits, and no runs, in five innings of work.
This is a fantastic pitching matchup featuring two young pitchers with bright futures.
History: The Houston Astros now hold just a 71-69 all-time advantage after Oakland has come away with two wins in this series.
MLB Pick: I like the Houston Astros to get the win Sunday and get out of Oakland with one win.
2020 Picks Record: 19-12