Oakland Athletics (65-39) at Houston Astros (42-63)
Monday, July 28 - 8:10 PM EST
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
The Oakland Athletics look to add on to the best record in the majors when they open a three-game road series against the reeling Houston Astros on Monday. Oakland (65-39) owns a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West and has won four of five games since dropping a 12-inning affair against Houston last Tuesday. The Astros have lost five consecutive games since posting the extra-inning win and scored just five runs while losing three straight to the Miami Marlins.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 in Sunday’s loss to raise his major league-best batting average to .344. He leads the majors with 18 three-hit games and total hits (148) and enters the series with a nine-game hitting streak. The Athletics have scored nine or more runs in four of their last seven games after rolling to a 9-3 victory over Texas on Sunday.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, CSN California (Oakland), CSN Houston
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Jesse Chavez (8-6, 3.14 ERA) vs. Astros LH Brett Oberholtzer (2-7, 4.32)
Chavez defeated Houston in his last outing when he gave up two runs and four hits and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings. He has struck out 22 batters in 17 1/3 innings while going 2-1 over his past three outings. Chavez is 2-0 with a 3.78 ERA in three starts against the Astros this season.
Oberholtzer received a no-decision against Oakland in his last turn when he gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings. He is 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA in three starts against the Athletics this season and is 0-2 with a 4.03 ERA in four career outings. Oberholtzer is 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA in six home starts this season.
1. Athletics CF Coco Crisp returned to Oakland to have his sore neck examined and could be headed to the 15-day disabled list.
2. Houston 1B Jon Singleton homered on Sunday for the first time since July 7 and is 11-for-72 with 31 strikeouts this month.
3. Oakland C John Jaso drove in three runs on Sunday and is 10-for-24 with a homer and nine RBIs over the last seven games.
PREDICTION: Athletics 9, Astros 4