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The Astros and Athletics begin a three-game series in Oakland on Monday, and MLB expert Mike Spector weighs in with his best bet for the opener.

Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Prediction: Will Blackburn's Stellar Season Continue for the A's?

It was not a completely unsuccessful road trip for the Houston Astros when visiting the division-rival Mariners, as they salvaged the final game of the three-game series by winning a 2-1 pitcher’s duel. However, even the victory raised concerns about the current state of the Astros offense, as they totaled just three runs and 20 hits over the three games. 

Things do not get much easier for Houston as they face undefeated Oakland Athletics starter Paul Blackburn. Will the Astros bats come to life, or will Blackburn continue his stellar season?

Read on for our best play for Monday’s series opener between the Astros and Athletics as well as the best odds.

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Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Line Movement

Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Prediction

Houston is not the only team that avoided a sweep on Sunday, as Oakland salvaged the final game of a four-game series against Texas. If not for bullpen blunders in the first two games, Oakland would have had a chance to be much more successful in the series. 

The A’s lost the first two games after the team gave up runs in the ninth inning. On Thursday, the score was 1-1 going into the ninth inning, but they allowed three runs in the top of the ninth and lost 4-1. It was a similar story on Friday, as the game was tied 5-5 going into the ninth, but they eventually lost 8-5. However, Sunday was Oakland’s turn for late heroics, as they battled back from a 4-0 fifth inning deficit and won 6-5 on a walk-off Jed Lowrie single.

The A’s are now just 20-30 on the season, making Paul Blackburn’s (5-0, 1.71) start to the season even more impressive. The A’s are 8-1 in Blackburn’s nine starts, which means Oakland is just 12-29 when he does not toe the rubber. Blackburn has allowed more than two earned runs just once, which is even more impressive considering the competition he has faced. Blackburn has made six starts against teams over .500 (Angels twice, Rays twice, Blue Jays, and Giants), and four of those six were on the road. He now faces a Houston team with just four extra-base hits (three doubles, one home run) in its last three games and one that went 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position in that span.

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Opposing Blackburn is Houston’s Framber Valdez (4-2, 2.83), who has never beaten the A’s in his career. In six appearances (four starts) against Oakland, Valdez is 0-2 with a 4.08 ERA. However, we are still getting decent value on Oakland’s moneyline odds, considering Blackburn’s career numbers against Houston are worse. He is 0-2 in four appearances (three starts) against Houston, and his 13.50 ERA is his highest against any opponent. However, this is a much less fearful Astros lineup than the ones he has previously faced, and they may again be without Kyle Tucker, who sat out yesterday with a foot injury.

Houston is 1-5 in its last six road games against right-handed starting pitchers, and we expect Blackburn to lead his team to victory as underdogs once again.

Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Pick

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Article Author


Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest


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