Oakland Athletics: 3 Keys To Beating Astros Tonight
By Joey Lopez
The Oakland Athletics are riding another hot streak, but the Astros will aim to put a stop to Oakland’s latest roll. If the A’s want to keep their streak going, here are three keys to help them beat the division leading Astros…
The Oakland Athletics are fighting for relevancy in a division stacked with talent. The division is led by the Astros, but the A’s are coming off a 6-4 victory in Houston and are looking for more.
The A’s had plenty of timely hits in their victory on Tuesday night. That brings us to our first key for tonight’s game.
RYAN HEALY NEEDS TO KEEP ROLLING ALONG
Perhaps no other hit was more timely than Ryon Healy‘s grand slam on Tuesday. The A’s young breakout star is hitting .273 with 18 HR and 49 RBI this year. Offensively, the A’s were efficient on Tuesday night, but that trend will need to continue.
Houston’s offense hit Sean Manaea hard on a few occasions, but couldn’t mustered much against him. They exploded in the ninth inning against Liam Hendricks, but couldn’t get the win.
The A’s cannot afford to trade blows with the Astros, so jumping out to an early lead will be the key for tonight’s game. Facing off against rookie David Paulino (2-0, 5.04 ERA) should (theoretically) help the A’s keep rolling along.
Paulino did have some success last week in Oakland, but the A’s are hoping that some payback is in order.
BULLPEN NEEDS TO BE LIGHTS OUT
The A’s escaped on Tuesday with a win, but not because of their bullpen. Liam Hendricks gave up three runs in the ninth inning and Santiago Casilla made things interesting by allowing back-to-back singles.
The only strength that came out of the pen last night was in the form of Ryan Madson. Madson recorded four outs and has pitched well this season. If the A’s wish to beat the Astros, their bullpen will need to be lights out in the ninth inning. Houston has a capable offense and ninth inning comebacks aren’t out of the question.
Bob Melvin will need to monitor the bullpen Wednesday night if A’s wish to capture a series win.
JESSE HAHN NEEDS TO REBOUND
Since coming off the disabled list on June 6, Jesse Hahn has gone 2-1 with a 7.00 ERA. Overall, the righty is 3-5 with a 4.66 ERA. His last start against Houston did not end well as he gave up 10 runs (nine earned).
Much like the bullpen, the starters will need to be very careful with the Astros’ lineup. Hahn will need to deliver a quality start on Wednesday if the A’s have any shot of winning. It would be nice if the A’s offense could provide an early lead for Hahn to get things rolling in the right direction.
FINAL SAY: SERIES WIN (2-1). The A’s should win this series with the Astros if all goes their way. Look for Hahn to rebound from a tough loss last week.
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