In a way, playing the Astros is a lot of pressure because anything short of a sweep is a failure. Witness the opening series of the year, when Texas took 2 out of 3...and epically failed. Oakland goes for the sweep this afternoon, gunning for a 5-game winning streak and a second consecutive day alone in 1st place.
On paper, you have to like the A's chances. Combine Brett Anderson's "swing-and-miss slider" with Houston's "swing-and-miss bats" and if Anderson retires the first 2 hitters you might want to start the "perfect game watch". However, baseball is not played on paper. No, it's played on a field that is uphill to straightaway CF and where routine fly balls to LF land 4 rows deep into the bleachers. Anderson is opposed by RHP Lucas Harrell, also known as Houston's #2 starter.
Last night's win was tempered by Yoenis Cespedes wringing out his left wrist following one of his 23 missed swings. In what I believe to be a smart move, Cespedes is sitting this one out ahead of tomorrow's off day. A stitch in time saves nine, and all that. An ounce of prevention, and such. If you need yet a third proverb to catch my drift then I have finally found the right deodorant.
Today's "fun fact": Brett Wallace, batting 5th, has struck out 11 times in his 14 ABs. Oops. Today's starting lineups: