Astros vs Athletics Preview & Free Pick [Game 2]

Houston (1-0) vs Oakland (0-1)
When: Tuesday, October 6th 2020
Where: Dodger Stadium,
Los Angeles, CA
Time: 4:37 ET | TV: TBS
Opening Odds: Oakland -110/8.5

The Houston Astros felt right at home in Dodger Stadium Monday afternoon in winning Game 1 of their ALDS versus the Oakland A’s. Houston used the longball and a strong effort from the bullpen while playing in their first playoff game in L.A. since winning Game 7 of the 2017 World Series over the Dodgers. Carlos Correa hit two home runs and Jose Altuve had a go-ahead two-run single in a four-run sixth inning as the Astros rallied for a 10-5 victory. George Springer collected four hits as the Astros recovered from a sub-par effort from starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. The A’s were the first to take advantage of the warm and breezy conditions in Los Angeles, getting a two-run home run from Khris Davis in the second inning and a solo shot from Sean Murphy an inning later. McCullers gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits over four-plus innings, while A’s starter Chris Bassitt also went four-plus innings, giving up three runs on nine hits. Lefties Framber Valdez and Sean Manaea will go in Game 2 on Tuesday.

Pitchers: Astros – Framber Valdez (6-3, 3.33) | A’s – Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50)

Valdez had a masterful postseason debut last week versus the Twins in Game 1 of the Wild Card round, throwing five scoreless innings of relief. The lefty struck out five and walked two while throwing 66 pitches in earning the victory. He started against the A’s on Aug. 8 and allowed one earned run over seven innings while striking out nine, but suffered the loss.

Manaea did not pitch in the wild card round and hasn’t toed the rubber since Sept. 23 versus the Dodgers in this very stadium. He allowed three runs over six innings and surrendered two homeruns in the 6-4 win. Manaea has had mixed results in his career versus Houston, but bested them on Sept. 10 by allowing just one run over seven frames.

I liked the Astros coming into this series and even more so now. Oakland blew a big opportunity to take Game 1 and now the Astros have confidence. The A’s were afraid to throw Manaea in the wild card round and we might see why tonight.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free MLB Picks page for today.

Pick: Astros -105