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Major League Baseball
Preview
Oakland at Houston
When: 8:10 PM ET, Monday, July 28, 2014
Where: 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.

WALK-OFFS


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
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Oakland 65-39 W2 34-17 31-22 18-11 11-8 26-18 10-2
Houston 42-63 L5 21-31 21-32 9-14 11-11 18-28 4-10
Last Meeting
Oakland Houston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/24/14 HOU 1 OAK 13 .400 1 1.060 .182 1 .455
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Oakland J. Reddick .424 14 1.126
Houston J. Altuve .413 19 .969
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Oakland J. Donaldson 4 10 12
Houston C. Carter 2 5 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Oakland 3.16 .304 82
Houston 7.03 .241 54
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Oakland C. Crisp .274 77 .789
Houston J. Altuve .344 148 .829
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Oakland B. Moss 23 50 71
Houston G. Springer 20 45 51
Pitching ERA Avg K
Oakland 3.09 .254 791
Houston 4.47 .239 755