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Astros Set to Keep Rolling Past Reeling A’s

Alex Bregman's Astros are favored in the Oakland vs Houston odds.

After finally having something go their way, the Oakland Athletics look to put a dismal opening homestand behind them as they visit the Houston Astros on Thursday night. The Athletics (1-6) earned their first win of the season in the last game of their homestand, but they are big-time underdogs against an Astros team (5-1) that is rolling into its home opener.


Oakland Athletics vs Houston Astros
  • Date/Time: April 8, 8:10 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Minute Maid Park
  • TV Coverage: NBCSCA, ATTSN-SW
  • Opening Odds: Astros -160 | O/U 9.5 (Line History)
  • Athletics vs Astros Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Astros opened as -160 favorites, but that’s now the high end of the odds range, with -150s or even the odd -145 available. The total has held steady at 9.5.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Athletics left-hander Cole Irvin (0-1, 8.31 ERA) would love to exact a little revenge after getting torched in his season-opening outing against the Astros. He was tagged for four runs on seven hits in 4.1 bumpy innings en route to a 9-1 defeat. It was a fitting Oakland debut for the 27-year-old, who owns an unsightly 6.89 ERA for his career.

Astros counterpart Cristian Javier (0-0, 4.91 ERA) will also be looking to put together a stronger outing than the one he had against the Athletics six days ago. The hard-throwing 24-year-old lasted just 3.2 innings in his first start of 2021, charged with two runs on three hits. He averages a strikeout per inning for his career but has allowed 11 home runs in 58 innings.

Oakland News & Notes

It hasn’t taken long for the Athletics to dig themselves the kind of hole that has them behind the playoff 8-ball already: Per ESPN’s David Schoenfeld, only three teams have ever reached the postseason after opening the season with six straight losses. And the A’s didn’t just string together a bunch of losses – they weren’t competitive at all, getting outscored 50-13 prior to Wednesday’s win.

Now for the good news: The current members of the Oakland roster have combined for three home runs and an .864 OPS in 35 all-time at-bats vs Javier. And while there isn’t much of a sample to pull from, you can look to either of the Matts for daily fantasy production, as both Matt Olson and Matt Chapman have gone deep against Javier.

Houston News & Notes

The Astros used their dominance over Oakland the first time these teams met to propel themselves to the top of the AL West standings, and splitting a two-game set with the Angels has kept them there. The Houston offense is absolutely crushing opposing pitching at the moment, with the team averaging 7.5 runs with a .295/.371/.523 slash line through six games.

Now, the Astros kick off their home schedule at a stadium where they hit just .239 last season, the 19th-best home batting average in the majors. Most of Houston’s hitters are decent daily fantasy options in Thursday’s series opener; Alex Bregman is the top option for cash games given his .478 OBP, while Kyle Tucker (three HRs, nine RBIs) is certainly worth the investment in tournaments.

Betting Pick: Astros -1.5 (+120)

There remains an enormous gulf in playing level between these teams – and until the Athletics close that gap, the Astros are a terrific option on the runline.

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Shark Bites
  • The Astros’ plus-27 run differential ranks second in the majors.
  • The OVER is 7-2 in Oakland’s last 9 games.
  • The OVER is 6-0 in the last 6 head-to-head meetings.