MLB Game Preview - Astros v Athletics

MLB Baseball
Scoreboard|Postseason|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 4100
Oakland0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 161
  W: Z. Greinke (3-0)   L: B. Anderson (10-9)   S: R. Osuna (27)
1:07 PM PT2:07 PM MT3:07 PM CT4:07 PM ET16:07 ET20:07 GMT4:07 1:07 PM MST3:07 PM EST3:37 PM VEN0:07 UAE (+1)3:07 PM CT, August 18, 2019
Ring Central Coliseum, Oakland, California  Attendance: 22,372

Greinke hopes to snap Astros out of funk vs. A's

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics

  1. Houston has won nine of 11 games against Oakland this season, holding Oakland to 2.5 runs per game and 6.2 hits per game. They are 22-11 in Oakland since the start of 2016, the best road record by any AL team against the A's in that span.
  2. The Astros are 38-12 (.760) against the AL West this season, on pace to be the best record by any team against its own division since divisional play began in 1969. The current record is 19-7 (.731) by the 1994 Mariners, who played just 26 games in a strike-shortened season.
  3. Oakland split a two-game set with San Francisco and has alternated wins and losses over its last nine games. They've held opponents to a .291 on-base percentage so far this month, third-lowest in MLB; only the Dodgers (.276) and Rays (.288) are better.
  4. Yuli Gurriel hit two home runs on Wednesday, improving his career-best home run total to 25 this season. He's slugging .854 since July 1, best in MLB in that span (minimum 100 PA), and his 17 HR in that span are tied with Mike Trout for the most in baseball.
  5. Mike Fiers will make the start against his former team tonight, boasting an AL-best 1.79 ERA since the All-Star Break (minimum 5 starts). He's thrown 5.0+ innings, allowing three or fewer runs in each of his last 19 starts, the second-longest single-season streak by an AL pitcher in the live-ball era; Johan Santana had 22 consecutive such starts in his 2004 Cy Young season.
  6. Both the Astros and Athletics have seven players with 15+ home runs this season, tied for second-most in MLB behind the Twins (eight). Houston's Robinson Chirinos sits at 13 home runs, two away from becoming the eighth Astro to hit 15 home runs, while Oakland's Stephen Piscotty is three homers away from joining that club.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/15/2019 thru 8/18/2019
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Newcomer Zack Greinke hopes to continue a personal winning streak while ending his team's skid when the right-hander leads the visiting Houston Astros up against the Oakland Athletics in the finale of a four-game series on Sunday afternoon.

The A's have used a variety of means to sweep the first three games of the series, riding five home runs to a 7-6 victory on Thursday night, extra-inning small-ball to pull out a 3-2 win Friday, and station-to-station hitting to grind out an 8-4 triumph on Saturday.

With four straight wins, coupled with Houston's five consecutive losses, the second-place A's (71-52) have closed within 6 1/2 games of the first-place Astros (78-46) in the American League West.

Greinke (12-4, 2.91 ERA) will be asked to pick up the pieces after the A's tortured Astros rookie Rogelio Armenteros and reliever Chris Devenski for eight hits -- all singles -- and eight runs in the third and fifth innings alone in Saturday's win.

The 35-year-old Greinke has turned in two strong outings since joining the Astros in a trade. He has also pitched brilliantly against the A's, especially in Oakland, and in the San Francisco Bay Area in general in his long career.

Greinke has gone 6-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 16 appearances (12 starts) against the A's, including 3-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 10 games (seven starts) in Oakland. Coupled with a 6-0 record in San Francisco against the Giants, Greinke has gone 9-1 in 18 San Francisco Bay Area appearances.

He will be matched up Sunday with A's left-hander Brett Anderson (10-8, 3.95 ERA), who hasn't had much success against the Astros in his career, going 1-4 with a 6.58 ERA in six games (five starts).

One of those losses came at home on June 1, when he allowed a two-run home run to Josh Reddick in a 5-1 defeat. He was charged with three of the runs in 5 1/3 innings.

It's possible Anderson won't see Reddick in the rematch. The former A's outfielder was benched Saturday after having gone 1-for-8 in the first two games of the series and 3-for-23 on the Astros' current road trip.

He hasn't homered since June 28.

"I keep encouraging him to find his best swing and find a way to contribute," Astros manager AJ Hinch explained of Reddick's slump. "He hit a couple of balls pretty well (Friday night). He hasn't gotten a ton of luck.

"We do need production out of him. Our best team has a really tough bottom of the order, and that includes Josh Reddick. We've got to get him underway."

The A's took a similar approach to reliever Lou Trivino's troubles, and it paid dividends in Friday's win, when the right-hander responded to an eight-day shutdown by working a season-high three innings to earn a win in the 13-inning affair.

He didn't pitch Saturday and probably won't be available in the series finale, but his lengthy effort Friday allowed the A's to give closer Liam Hendriks a break.

Hendriks wasn't needed in Saturday's win, making him fresh for Sunday's game.

"It was a big night for a lot of guys, and maybe some guys who were struggling a little bit really emerged," A's manager Bob Melvin said, referring in part to Trivino, after Friday's win. "We saw the type of stuff that we saw last year. So hats off."

--Field Level Media

Updated August 18, 2019

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