Jose Urquidy will start Game 3 for the Houston Astros with a chance to sweep the Oakland Athletics in their ALDS. Image from @Beisbolpuro (Twitter).
- The Astros rode their red-hot bats to a 5-2 victory in Game 2
- Houston now leads their best-of-five AL Division Series 2-0 against the Athletics
- Game 3 goes Wednesday at 3:35 pm ET from Dodger Stadium; see the odds and picks below
Is it safe to say the Houston Astros are back?
Once again, Houston slugged its way to victory over the rival Oakland Athletics, taking a 2-0 lead in their AL Division Series. The A’s backs are now pressed firmly against the wall.
There’s very little time for Oakland to regroup, however. Game 3 is set for Wednesday, October 7th, at 3:35 pm ET, where the warm afternoons at Dodger Stadium have led to plenty of runs.
Athletics vs Astros Game 3 Odds
|Oakland Athletics||+105||+1.5 (-175)||Over 9.0 (+100)|
|Houston Astros||-115||-1.5 (+155)||Under 9.0 (-120)|
Odds as of Oct 6 from Caesars Sportsbook.
The Athletics vs Astros Odds have shifted dramatically in Houston’s favor. Given how they’ve struggled, it’s little surprise to see how Oakland has slid since Game 1.
The total is interesting. Things looked promising on for a second-straight over, but Oakland failed to live up to its end of the bargain. Despite that, the books continue to push it higher.
Power Trip Continues for Astros
After the display Houston put on in Game 1 (a 10-5 victory), it seemed like a safe bet that the offense would continue. Dodger Stadium didn’t disappoint.
Heard y’all were looking for homers 🤷♂️#ForTheH pic.twitter.com/Gp4dRM8Bof
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 6, 2020
After breaking down the ballpark factors in the Game 2 preview, the two teams followed up their six-homer show with five more. This is an especially good sign for Houston. Of the 19 homers the two teams combined for in their season series, the Astros only hit seven of them.
They’ve hit six through two games in the ALDS.
While that’s good news for the once-again-potent lineup, it’s bad news for the A’s pitching.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Urquidy Puts A’s in Tough Spot
The Astros promptly named Jose Urquidy their Game 3 starter.
After a late start to his 2020 season, Urquidy has been dominant. While he didn’t go deep against the Twins in the Wild Card round, he only gave up one run over 4.1 innings, striking out three.
Dusty Baker says Jose Urquidy starts in game three. Says Zack Greinke is “ailing some..Urquidy’s been dealing so it was kind of an easy choice.” pic.twitter.com/hF27XopSKK
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) October 6, 2020
Urquidy did give up two walks and two hits, and that was an issue that popped up in his lone start against Oakland. He gave up two hits and walked three in six innings against the A’s on September 10th. Fortunately he was able to escape that outing allowing just two runs.
For the A’s, Jesus Luzardo is looking to rebound from a disastrous 3.1 innings against the White Sox. He gave up two home runs in Oakland, so Dodger Stadium may not be his best friend on Wednesday.
A’s Bullpen in the Spotlight in Game 3
The Athletics needed a somewhat lengthy outing from Sean Manaea in Game 2, and they didn’t get it.
Manaea lasted just 4.1 innings, giving up four earned runs in the process. A trip to the bullpen was not ideal, but the A’s did the best they could.
Through two games, those arms may be taxed.
Athletics’ Bullpen Stats
|Pitcher||Innings Pitched||Number of Pitches||Ground Ball/Fly Ball|
It seems like a safe assumption that Mike Minor won’t be pitching in Game 3. He and Lou Trivino could be down for Game 4, as well. Keeping Petit under 20 pitches through two games is a good sign, but it would be the first time in 2020 he’s pitched on three consecutive days.
The sound you hear is not @astros hitting trash cans. It’s me banging my head against the wall watching the #Oakland bullpen implode
— Steve Fek (@usedtobeFek) October 5, 2020
The Astros have had to turn to just four relievers. The seven innings from Framber Valdez in Game 2 definitely helped.
A’s Face Must-Win Game 3
The slighted beast that is the Astros’ offense has officially woken up.
Scoff at Carlos Correa’s comments all you want, but they don’t see themselves as the villains. They’re the victims in their eyes, and they’re taking it out on Oakland.
The Astros will make one more offensive statement before the ALCS, hoping an extended break doesn’t cool off the red-hot bats.
The Pick: Astros -1.5 (+155), Under 9.0 (-120)
Bryan has spent the last decade working in the sports industry. He can be found conducting sideline interviews for SKY Sports and gathering post-match reactions for BBC. The sportcaster’s broadcasts stream on CBC Sports, Game TV, and Premier TV in the UK.