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Astros vs. Athletics Game 3 Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions (Oct. 7)

Astros vs. Athletics Game 3 Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions (Oct. 7) article feature image

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jesus Luzardo

  • Game 3 between the Houston Astros and Oakland A's is listed as a pick 'em, with the total set at 9.
  • Two young pitchers, Jose Urquidy and Jesus Luzardo, are set to square off and Mike Vitanza thinks both starters could struggle in the early going.
  • Get our full breakdown for Astros vs. A's below.

Astros vs. Athletics Game 3 Odds

Astros Odds -110 [Bet Now]
Athletics Odds -110 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (-105/-115) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 3:35 p.m. ET

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The Houston Astros moved to 2-0 in the American League Division Series on Tuesday with a 5-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

George Springer was the driving force of Houston’s offense, homering twice and driving in three runs on three hits. Catcher Martin Maldonado also added a solo shot in the fifth inning to round out the scoring for the Astros.

The Athletics, meanwhile, managed just six hits on the day. They were paced by Marcus Semien and Khris Davis, each of whom had multi-hit games. Davis had a home run in the second inning that gave the Athletics an early lead. Shortstop Chad Pinder also added a long home run in the fourth inning.

The Athletics will look to stave off elimination in a Game 3 matchup that will feature Houston’s Jose Urquidy and Oakland’s Jesus Luzardo.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.

Smoke and Mirrors

Jose Urquidy will toe the rubber for the Astros in Game 3. Urquidy’s 2.73 ERA this season was impressive, but that number is a bit misleading. His 4.71 FIP on the season – nearly two runs higher than his ERA – indicates he was quite lucky to finish with the numbers that he did. His 5.36 xFIP was even higher.

That said, he did manage to keep the Astros in the game over each of his five starts, never having allowed more than two earned runs to score in any game. He pitched at least six innings in each of his last four starts, providing the type of distance a coaching staff looks for in a potential series clinching game.

On the other side, the Athletics were middle of the pack during the regular season against right-handed pitching, collectively hitting to a .319 wOBA (18th-best in baseball). Their .177 ISO was slightly better, 13th-best amongst all teams.

Which Luzardo Will the A’s Get on Wednesday?

The A’s will turn to rookie Jesus Luzardo to keep their season alive. The 23-year-old’s stats were nothing spectacular (4.19 FIP, 1.37 HR/9), and his starts were inconsistent at best. Luzardo had multiple outings where he pitched 6+ innings of shutout baseball, and others that finished almost as quickly as they started. His last outing of the regular season is a perfect example. In that game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he pitched just three innings and allowed three earned runs on three hits and three walks.

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He did find success against the Astros in two starts this season, however, pitching 12.2 innings while allowing just four earned runs and striking out 12 batters.

Overall, the Astros were mediocre against left-handed pitching during the regular season, collectively hitting to a .303 wOBA and .171 ISO against southpaws. There were a few exceptions, though.

Alex Bregman was very strong, hitting to a .408 wOBA, .255 ISO and 166 wRC+ against southpaws. George Springer was also especially good, hitting to a .339 wOBA and .271 ISO himself. He also added two home runs in yesterday’s game against lefty Sean Manaea. Carlos Correa also found success with a .367 wOBA and 136 wRC+ against lefties during the regular season.

Astros vs. A’s Betting Pick

Astro’s starter Jose Urquidy has been lucky this season as evidenced by the two-run gap between his 2.73 ERA and 4.71 FIP. If the Athletics are able to find success early on, they’ll move onto what is an otherwise mediocre bullpen in Houston. The Astros’ 4.45 bullpen FIP was middle-of-the-pack and their 5.03 BB/9 was third highest in all of baseball.

On the other side, I expect the Astros to score with relative ease against Luzardo. In addition to hitting the ball well of-late (5.2 runs per game over their last five), three of their best hitters have been exceptional against left-handed pitching this season.

If the Astros find success early, they’ll run into Oakland’s best bullpen arms as they try to force a Game 4. The Athletics bullpen was spectacular during the regular season, finishing with a 3.64 FIP, 9.63 K/9 and allowing just 3.3 BB/9. I like them to slow down the scoring and keep this game close in the later innings.

This all points to both teams scoring relatively often in the early innings, which has me on over 4.5 runs in the First 5 Innings. I’m comfortable playing this at the current line of -128, but I would not pay up if it moves to -130 or above.

The Bet: Over 4.5 runs F5 (-128)

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