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Game Preview - Athletics v Astros

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5
Final-11 3 4 5 6   7 8 9   10 11 R H E
Oakland0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 5101
Houston0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6100
6
  W: C. McHugh (5-0)   L: B. Treinen (5-2)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, July 10, 2018
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 34,585

Astros host A's in the midst of two four-game series

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros

  1. Oakland took two of three from Cleveland, and have an MLB-best 16-4 record since June 16. At 50-40 this season, the Athletics are 10 games over .500 for the first time since they ended the 2014 season with a record of 88-74.
  2. The Astros enter this series winners of six in a row. Houston pitching has a 1.05 WHIP this season, which is on pace to be the lowest by any team since the 1909 Chicago Cubs finished the season with a 1.04 WHIP.
  3. The Astros have beaten Oakland eight of nine times so far this season, outscoring the A's 70-28. As a team, Houston has averaged 7.78 runs per game, while slashing .325/.389/.574 with 18 home runs and 23 doubles in those games.
  4. Gerrit Cole ranks third in MLB with 158 strikeouts, and is nine strikeouts away from tying Mike Scott's franchise record of 167 strikeouts before the All-Star break in 1986. In three starts against Oakland this season, Cole has a 3.86 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 18.2 innings.
  5. In three appearances (one start) against the Astros, Frankie Montas has allowed 12 runs (10 earned) in 7.1 innings for a 12.27 ERA. In three road starts this year, Montas has a 3.57 ERA, and the A's have combined to score 37 runs.
  6. Over his past 21 games, Jed Lowrie is slashing .338/.411/.688 with seven home runs and 21 RBI. Lowrie has a .621 slugging percentage on the road this season, trailing only Mike Trout (.686) and Mookie Betts (.626) among qualified American League players.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/9/2018 thru 7/12/2018

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros opened their second consecutive four-game series on Monday night, marking the only time this season they will face four-game series in succession.

The series against the Oakland Athletics marks the ninth of 12 four-game sets for Houston (61-32) this season. Adding one game to extend a three-game set doesn't necessarily influence strategy, but it does present managers additional thoughts to consider regarding in-game matchups.

"I think you pay attention the second time you ask a reliever to go through the same part of the order," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "As an example, when Joe Smith comes in to face one of these right-handed hitters I have to pay attention because he can get three or four at-bats against the same guy in four games.

"I know it's only one more game, but the chances of you facing the same pocket of a lineup as a reliever is much higher in a four-game series."

The Astros had their six-game home winning streak snapped with a 2-0 loss to the A's. The shutout loss was their sixth of the season, each at Minute Maid Park.

Right-hander Justin Verlander (9-4, 2.15 ERA) will make his penultimate start on Tuesday before the All-Star Game break. He allowed three runs and five hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 7-3 win over Oakland on June 14.

Verlander is 11-6 with a 2.68 ERA in 18 career starts against the Athletics. He was named to his seventh All-Star team on Sunday.

Left-hander Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.33 ERA) will start for Oakland. He is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in six starts since the beginning of June after opening the season 4-2 with a 1.03 ERA in his first six starts.

Manaea is 2-4 with a 2.54 ERA in 10 career starts against the Astros, against whom he made his big-league debut on April 29, 2016. He is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts against Houston this season.

Left fielder Mark Canha made his 13th start batting second in the lineup on Monday, and while he finished 0-for-4 with a strikeout, Canha hit the ball hard twice against Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole.

With Matt Joyce, who has batted second 16 times, on the 10-day disabled list with a lumbar strain, Canha has become a two-hole fixture and has enabled Oakland (51-40) to reconfigure its lineup and bump shortstop Marcus Semien into the eighth spot, where he can inject speed.

"A couple years ago, that's where he hit for a good portion of the year," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said of Canha. "Now he's getting to see a lot of right-handed pitching and he's having success against it. With Joyce out, he's gotten the starts and he's done a great job with it.

"It allows us to get a little speed at the bottom with Marcus too and lengthens our lineup some. As of right now, he's going to get a good portion of these games."

Updated July 10, 2018

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