The best game of the day for Saturday’s MLB docket is definitely the A’s hosting the Astros as Oakland is just a game behind Houston in the AL West. Oddsmakers are calling this one close to the vest setting the line at a dead even -105 for both teams. The ‘Stros definitely have the pitching advantage in the August 18th AL free pick as Dallas Keuchel goes up against Oakland’s Trevor Cahill. The Athletics captured the series opener 4-3 yesterday however so is today truly anybody’s ballgame?
Houston Is Fighting For Their First Place Lives on Saturday
The Astros are limping into the postseason – if they end up making it at all. The Astros have dropped six of their last seven and were just 1-5 on their home stand over the last week. Houston dropped yesterday’s contest 3-4 as -143 favorites as they managed just 6 hits. Jose Altuve and Brian McCann will both miss the August 18th AL free pick which makes Oakland an even more tempting pick. The Astros hit just .260 against A’s pitcher Trevor Cahill in their career and have just one player (Tyler White) hitting above .294 over the past week.
Despite the Astros offense being in shambles, one of the reasons they’re still a great bet because Dallas Keuchel (9-9, 3.43 ERA) is on the bump. Since June 16th the left-hander has gone 6-1 with a 2.19 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He has 9 quality starts in his last 11 outings and has allowed 1ER or less in 5 of his last 7 starts. In two starts against division rival Oakland this year, Keuchel is 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA. He’s also allowed 3HR in 2 games which makes today’s O/U of 8 more enticing for the ‘over.’
Can the A’s Really Climb Into First Today?
It’s been a wild ride for the A’s this season but they can actually climb out of the depths of hell into a first place tie with a win in the August 18th AL free pick. Oakland has won 5 of the last 6 and are 9-1 in their last 10 home games vs. a LH starter. Oakland is 18-4 in their last 22 home games overall and one of the reasons they’re climbing in the division is because they are 14-3 in the last 17 vs. the AL West. It’s always a tough matchup vs. Keuchel, and the A’s are hitting just .226 in their careers against the Houston left-hander. On the bright side, Matt Chapman has gone 4-9 (.444) with 2 HR in his career against Keuchel. Jed Lowrie could have a big day too as he’s hitting .400 with 2HR over the past 6 games.
One of the biggest hesitations on betting on the A’s today is Trevor Cahill (4-2, 3.39 ERA) on the bump. Overall he’s been pretty solid for Oakland this season but he does have two outings of 4+ runs allowed in his last four starts. Cahill is 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA in two starts vs. Houston this year and another thing boding well is that the A’s have won his last 6 starts.
August 18th AL Free Pick Betting
The ticket taker at the sportsbook wouldn’t blame you for taking either side today. The A’s are on a roll but Houston has Keuchel on the mound. It’s a battle for 1st place in the AL West and believe it or not the Oakland crowd could be pretty raucous today. In a weird way, that helps Houston however as the champs aren’t used to having their backs against the wall and love spots like this.
AL Free Pick: Houston Astros -105