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Athletics vs. Astros Odds, Preview, Prediction: Chris Bassitt vs. Framber Valdez Makes For Solid Pitching Matchup (Tuesday, July 6)

Athletics vs. Astros Odds, Preview, Prediction: Chris Bassitt vs. Framber Valdez Makes For Solid Pitching Matchup (Tuesday, July 6) article feature image

Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Framber Valdez and Robel Garcia.

Athletics vs. Astros Odds

Athletics Odds +134
Astros Odds -158
Over/Under 8 (-118 / -104)
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday afternoon and via FanDuel.

The Astros and A’s will renew their rivalry on Tuesday in Houston, and while Houston enters on a four-game winning streak, things could still be going better for both offenses. The A’s have slipped down the ranks against lefties, while the Astros have been bested by some mediocre arms in the last week.

With all those concerns, should we look to the total with two great pitchers getting the ball? Let’s have a look at the numbers.

Bassitt Has Been A Rock For Oakland’s Rotation

The A’s used to be one of the scarier teams for left-handed pitchers, but lately this offense has been very unassuming within that split. Once just outside the top five in wRC+ to lefties, the A’s have now fallen to 13th in that category, though it’s hard to focus on that when this team in general has hit a huge slide, having lost three series in a row. The A’s will be seeking their first series victory since dispatching the Angels in Oakland nearly a month ago.

The good news here for the A’s is that while some of their starters have really let them down this season, like Frankie Montas and Jesús Luzardo, Chris Bassitt has been a rock. He’ll take a 3.04 ERA to the hill on Tuesday, one which is backed by a 3.23 xERA and an impressive .338 xwOBA on contact.

While most pitchers have seen their spin rates take a real hit during the league’s sticky-stuff crackdown, Bassitt has actually seen a spike in his curveball and slider spin, while his profile has generally been pretty steady all year long.

Bassitt comes in rolling, having allowed just a run on eight hits over his last two starts, spanning 14 innings. He’s also sat down 11 over that span, which has been a theme for him this year. The strikeout numbers are at a career high for Bassitt, while the walks are at a career low. Everything’s clicking.

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Valdez, Astros Come In Clicking

Houston generally likes too see lefties on the hill, given it is the league’s top offense versus southpaws, and also because perhaps its best pitcher is left-handed.

Framber Valdez will get the nod once again on Tuesday, and he has been excellent at avoiding calamity this year. He’s given up just four barrels in 45 1/3 innings, which is downright impressive, and along with that number he’s given up four homers this year. An Oakland team that has sat just outside the top 10 in homers all year long will be sad to see Valdez opposing it.

The last time Valdez saw the A’s in 2020, he held them to just one earned run over seven innings, allowing seven hits and striking out nine. He’s arguably much better since that date, and a career-best -6.7 launch angle has told the tale of a sinker-baller just continuing to hone his craft.

So, I mentioned the thing about lefties before, and that’s all well and good but the Astros are also the top team against righties. The numbers aren’t as sexy, but with a larger sample they’re bound to be a little lower. The point is, this team is incredible at the plate and comes in on a four-game winning streak.

Athletics-Astros Pick

It’s true that the Astros have torn the cover off the ball all year long, but two straight games without many runs at all, and a little slump in Detroit and Baltimore prior to the Indians series, have me questioning whether everything’s OK.

Bassitt is an incredible arm, and I don’t see any reason why he can’t hold Houston at arm’s length while it’s in the midst of a miniature funk. Valdez, meanwhile, has been great and should have an advantage from the left side. On top of that, the A’s have a pedestrian 0.46 weighted runs per 100 sinkers, helping him out.

I see this playoff rematch as a tight affair, and one without many runs. There should be some great value in this total with two talented pitchers going.

Pick: Under 8 (-104)

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