Thursday Night Game Preview & MLB Betting Pick: Astros vs. Athletics

Posted by Eric Williams on Thursday,June 14, 2018 10:00, EDT in

The Oakland A’s haven’t been awful this season and come into Thursday night’s series finale against Houston with a respectable .500 record as we inch closer to the midway point of the 2018 regular season. Nevertheless, the MLB betting underdogs Oakland Athletics look like they’re going to be hard-pressed to avoid another home loss in the finale of their three-game set when they take on the streaking Astros and formidable staff ace Justin Verlander.

If you’re looking to find out is Oakland is capable of getting the big upset at the MLB lines or whether the simple pick is to just back the defending World Series champion Astros, then let’s get to my expert MLB pick right now.

Houston (44-25) at Oakland (34-34) Thursday Night Game Preview & MLB Betting Pick

  • When: Thursday, June 14, 2018, 3:35 PM ET
  • Where: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
  • TV: MLBN, ATSW
  • Radio: TuneIn
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Oakland Athletics +175 / Houston Astros -215 (Over/Under at 8)

Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)

  • Runs: Houston Astros 6.90 / Oakland Athletics 4.60
  • Hits: Houston Astros 10.80 / Oakland Athletics 8.00
  • Walks: Houston Astros 3.80 / Oakland Athletics 2.40
  • Strike Outs: Houston Astros 5.90 / Oakland Athletics 9.00

Twins at Tigers Betting Preview & Pick – June 14th

Starting Pitchers

  • Houston Astros: J Verlander – R – (8-2, 1.45 ERA)
  • Oakland Athletics: Frankie Montas – R – (3-0) (1.25)

Why Bet The Houston Astros?

Why should you consider betting on the Astros in this contest? Well, there is a multitude of reasons, but I’ll try to keep it fairly short. First, Houston is on fire right now, having won seven straight games coming into this contest including each of their two games against Oakland in this three-game series.

Then, there’s the fact that the Astros are almost literally bashing the cover off the baseball right now, having scored five runs or more in six of their seven consecutive victories while scoring seven or more four times along the way, capped off by the whopping 13 runs they scored against the A’s in Wednesday night’s 13-5 smackdown.

Last but not least, I guess I could point to the fact that Houston is ranked third in scoring (5.10 RPG) and a stupendous first in team ERA (2.94), but that feels a little bit like overkill.

Then again, maybe I should even mention that Justin Verlander has gone 4-0 over his last five starts while allowing one earned run or less in seven of his last 10 starts while tossing a minimum of six innings each time out. Verlander is set to become just the third active pitcher in the big leagues with 400 career starts in this affair.

The staff ace struck out nine in a win against Texas on Friday although he did allow three earned runs for the first time in his last 10 starts. Still, the Astros are 14-5 in Verlander’s last 19 regular season starts dating back to last season.

Why Bet the Oakland Athletics?

Why should you consider backing the A’s on Thursday night? Well, there’s the fact that Verlander didn’t have his best stuff the last time out and could be vulnerable again. However, the best reason to back Oakland in this contest is that young hurler Frankie Montas has been phenomenal this season.

Despite playing at home, the Athletics are not a good MLB Betting Pick.

Montas was fantastic in his third straight start as he limited Kansas City to two runs in 7.2 innings on Friday. The right-hander has given up just three earned runs in 21.2 innings since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville. The bad news is that the Athletics have allowed a whopping 21 runs in their last three games and five or more runs in five of their last 10 games overall. Oakland has also been pretty ordinary in ranking 14th in scoring (4.37 RPG) and 15th in team ERA (4.03).

Latest MLB Betting Trends

  • Houston is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 9 of Houston’s last 11 games
  • Oakland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Oakland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Oakland’s last 18 games at home
  • Verlander is 14-6 when starting against Oakland with an ERA of 2.27 and a WHIP of 1.057

Expert Analysis & Score Prediction

There’s just not a whole lot of thought that needs to go into making this pick with Houston being infinitely better than Oakland in every aspect of the game and trotting out one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.

The Astros are a near-perfect 7-1 in their last 8 Thursday games, a consistent 6-1 in Justin Verlander’s last 7 road starts and a blistering 8-6 in Verlander’s last 24 starts overall. Conversely, the A’s are just 3-13 in their last 16 games against their AL West division rivals, meaning this one could get ugly if Frankie Montas isn’t on his ‘A’ game. Houston wins by at least two runs to cover the Run Line people!

Score: Houston Astros 5 – Oakland Athletics 1